Materials Matter is an educational site allowing you to explore the life of your smartphone. It is developed by The Restart Project with support from EIT Raw Materials, as a part of the “Replay Project” with partners FBK, Heureka, HIT, Muse, Museon, and VTT. Original artwork is by Rod Hunt (©), animation and development by John Rowley.
You can dive further into your phone using our print materials and slideshows.
Please get in touch if you are a museum or educational institution and are interested in opportunities to use this online experience.
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You can sign up to The Restart Code or get involved with the Right to Repair
1 – Land and people: learn about cobalt mining
2 – Mining: learn how lithium mining affects the environment and people in Bolivia
3 – Making components: learn about graphite, used in batteries
We feature the refining and processing of graphite, a material key to the production of batteries in electronics. Workers have very little safety equipment at many of the graphite factories. In China, the northeastern province of Heilongjiang is rich in graphite and there are many mines and factories in the region. Locals who live near to the factories complain of contaminated air and water affecting their crops and health. This Washington Post story dates from 2016. Read more.
4 – Assembly: how Fairphone promotes better work
Fairphone is one of the only mobile companies that tries to do more than preventing bad working conditions. They write “The majority of the world’s smartphones are manufactured in China, but the country’s fast, affordable production comes at the cost of workers. We want to improve job satisfaction and working conditions in the heart of the electronics sector, including health and safety, worker representation and working hours.”
Learn more about they do this.
5 – Waste: learn how you can use the power of design
This video is part of a series called Circular Classroom.
6 – Recycling: learn how batteries in electronics are recycled
7- Renewables: learn about the future supply of these important materials