How green was my battery? Mobile show at Science Museum

by Guy J Kewney | posted on 28 March 2006

Biodegradeable batteries? Yes, indeed; a free show opens tomorrow (Wednesday) at the Science Museum in London, focusing on "what happens to the environment when you throw away your mobile?" - it's called Dead Ringers.

As Observer science editor Robin McKie poetically put it: "Every hour, 1,700 mobiles are dumped by Britons buying better ones to take advantage of offers from the networks. This accumulation of dead ringers is an onslaught on our ecology: 15 million phones, each bursting with toxic chemicals, are thrown out to be buried in landfill sites or left in drawers and cupboards."

According to the official press release there is a sunflower-seed phone. Well sort of: it's a phone which you can throw away, and as it rots (bio-degradeable) a sunflower seed embedded in the case will sprout.

"Other prototypes on show are the only lasagne-based circuit board in the world‚ and an exploded phone showing how new smart metals will help phones take themselves apart for recycling," says the announcement.

This exhibition is the first part of Wasted Opportunity?‚ a 3-year project at the Science Museum funded by the SITA Trust and Defra consisting of exhibitions‚ a series of adult debating events and a programme of educational activities‚ which will all be supported by an online presence. Wasted Opportunity? is part of the nationwide Wasted Science? project in collaboration with At-Bristol‚ Thinktank‚ The Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester and International Centre for Life‚ funded by the SITA Trust and designed to improve understanding of waste issues and sustainable waste management.

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