Scientists say that increasing e-waste recycling is critical since mining the Earth for valuable metals to make new gadgets is unsustainable. According to one estimate, the global pile of discarded electronics weighed 57 million tonnes in 2021 alone. Instead of mining the Earth, the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) claims that a global effort is now necessary to extract that rubbish. Global wars can pose a threat to precious metal supply networks. The RSC is running a campaign to raise awareness about how unsustainable it is to mine all of the precious metals used in consumer technology. Geopolitical unrest, such as the conflict in Ukraine, has resulted in enormous price hikes for minerals like nickel, which is utilized in electric car batteries, according to the report. Volatility in the element market is causing “chaos in supply chains” that enable the manufacture of electronics.

Due to growing demand, the price of lithium, another important component in battery technology, climbed by roughly 500 percent between 2021 and 2022. Some vital components are rapidly diminishing. “Our tech consumption habits remain highly unsustainable and have left us at risk of exhausting the raw elements we need,” said Prof. Tom Welton, president of the Royal Society of Chemistry, adding that those habits were “continuing to exacerbate environmental damage”.