Director: Sue Williams

Production: Ambrica Productions Impact Partners, USA, 2015

English, Chinese 73 mn

In an investigation that spans the globe, award-winning filmmaker Sue Williams investigates the underbelly of the international electronics industry and reveals how even the tiniest devices have deadly environmental and health costs. Consumers love - and live on - their smartphones, tablets and laptops. A cascade of new devices pours endlessly into the market, promising even better communication, non-stop entertainment and instant information. The numbers are staggering. By 2020, four billion people will have a personal computer. Five billion will own a mobile phone. But this revolution has a dark side that the electronics industry doesn't want you to see.

Director's statement

Nearly 5 years ago, I met Ma Jun, China’s leading environmental activist. He told me about his work building a huge database of government pollution records. His goal was to create transparency and raise public awareness about Chinese factories that were ignoring the country's environmental regulations. The database contains the details of thousands of factory violations across the country. As Ma Jun poured through the entries what shocked him the most was the large number of electronics factories cited – as he said, we think of electronics as a clean industry - but here were thousands of factories working for the most famous brands in the world, discharging tons of toxic chemicals, heavy metals and waste directly into China’s rivers and lakes, land and air. Ma Jun is a quietly charismatic man and at first I thought I would make a film just about him and his work. But as I learned more about the electronics industry and its history, I realized the tragic environmental scandal he discovered is not confined to China.

Sue Williams

Why we selected this film

A shocking investigation into a subject which is still little-known and yet concerns us all. This documentary shows us the real environmental and human cost of our electronic devices. In the USA and in China, this film reveals what happens behind the scenes in this industry and the effects in terms of pollution and public health, on both factory workers and local residents. Clearly proving manufacturers’ accountability, this film also presents existing solutions and possible alternatives, but questions brands’ drive to mitigate the consequences related to their production. As consumers, we are all responsible for our choices and this documentary helps us to make these choices in an informed manner.

Awards

- Award of Excellence, Special Mention: Documentary Feature, Impact DOCS Awards Honorable Mention, Environmental Award - Sheffield Doc/Fest Boston Globe Filmmakers Fund Award - GlobeDocs Documentary Film Festival Honorable Mentions: Best International Documentary, Best Environmental Documentary - Seattle International Film Festival Honorable Mention - Melbourne Documentary Film Festival Honorable Mention

Act

Limit your purchase of electronics

If you're really serious about reducing your CO2 footprint, this is the way to do it. Electronics make up 62% of the greenhouse gas emissions that result from our purchasing habits.
Why is this?
To manufacture just one 2 g computer chip, you need 1,7 kg of fossil fuel, 1 m3 of nitrogen, 72 g of chemicals, and 32 litres of water. For a 750 kg car, you need 1,5 tonnes of fossil fuel—two times the weight of the final product.
For aluminum cans, it's about 4-5 times the weight; it's 6000 times the weight of the 2 g computer chip.

Reduce our electronics waste

Our smartphones, from the moment they are made to when they end up in a mountain of other discarded electronics are a true burden on the environment.

You have no idea how many dangerous chemicals come into the making of your smartphone. For instance, such carcinogenic substances as benzene and n-hexane as well as other just as dangerous substances so, instead of buying the latest model of smartphone that just came on the market, let’s try to keep our smartphones and other appliances longer, or have them fixed.

https://www.greenpeace.fr/telephones-portables-pollution-au-bout-du-fil/

12 tips for reducing your daily energy consumption

1. Keep your thermostat around 19 or 20C
2. Lower the thermostat to 16C at night or during extended absense
3. Keep your thermostat properly adjusted
4. Turn off the heat during summer or extended absense
5. Defrost your refridgerator and freezer regularly
6. Do your laundry at low temperatures
7. Choose "eco" cycles for washing machines and dishwashers
8. Avoid using a clothes dryer unnecessarily
9. Turn off electronics that aren't in use – avoid standby mode
10. Take a shorter shower
11. Cover the cookware
12. Clean the light fixtures

Adjust settings according to your needs

You can see serious energy savings by adapting your appliances according to your needs.
For example, a hallway doesn't need as strong of lighting as an office or reading room.
Place your living room lighting strategically according to where you are most often seated and in need of light. You can also reduce your energy needs by taking advantage of natural light sources.

10 Comments

Tresa · Saturday April 27th, 2019 at 06:31 PM

It may take a little undercover operate to look for the actual reason behind digestive difficulties, but
these steps should bring quickly relief for many
people.

sergenka · Tuesday January 29th, 2019 at 11:23 AM

alors on le trouve ou cet ordi en bois ??

Aurore · Thursday January 24th, 2019 at 09:39 PM

Merci beaucoup d’avoir abordé ce sujet bien trop peu médiatisé, alors qu’affolant. Merci pour les quelques pistes vers des fabricants plus respectueux, même si ils sont rares… Toutes les pistes sont les bienvenues !

Galou · Thursday January 24th, 2019 at 10:03 AM

Merci pour ce documentaire très percutant.
Je réalise que mon engagement personnel à faire durer mes appareils le plus longtemps possible n’est pas suffisant face à un tel désastre;
je vais faire tout mon possible pour réduire l’incroyable gaspillage du matériel informatique / électronique de mon entreprise.
Les fairphones semblent être une bonne alternative au niveau téléphonie, mais côté ordinateurs, quelqu’un sait-il s’il est possible de se procurer en France des appareils durables et fair-trade, comme les Micropro présentés dans le documentaire?
En vous remerciant

Evan · Wednesday January 23rd, 2019 at 11:18 PM

Très intéressante et percutant… c’est désastreux. Sincèrement ça fait mal de voir la masse de gens qui tombe aveuglement dans le système. Le pire c’est ceux qui sont au courant et qui s’en foutte ! L’argent mène encore la danse… Personnellement je suis prêt a faire des économies si c’est pour financer des projets durable comme ceux présentés dans le film. Ça serait peut être même moins cher que le dernier Iphone ^^

Cyril · Monday January 21st, 2019 at 03:09 PM

Je vis en Chine, et c’est vrai que par mon travail j’ai été amené à voyager dans beaucoup d’usines, et j’ai pu voir les mêmes images que dans la vidéo, c’est un vrai problème, Le Gouvernement commence à lancer des mesures drastiques aujourd’hui mais cela prend du temps, le pays est tellement grand et tous ne suivent pas ( il y a + de 2.5 millions d’usines enregistrées…. ) Le seul moyen de contrer ces compagnies et lobby ultra-puissants, c’est de réduire nos consommations, à défaut de les arrêter. Car ces compagnies le savent, nous avons besoin d’ordinateurs, de téléphones etc.. mais c’est à nous de les utiliser de manière plus responsable et durables. Merci pour ce documentaire. Le combat continue ensemble !!!

Noémie · Friday January 18th, 2019 at 07:20 PM

J’ai gardé mon pc portable 12 ans et mon smartphone 5 ans et demi. Ces appareils peuvent durer longtemps si on en prend soin et qu’on se fiche des nouveautés. Je les ai remplacé par des produits achetés d’occasion par la suite.

Olivier · Tuesday January 15th, 2019 at 10:59 AM

Un Smartphone éthique existe, il s’agit du FAIRPHONE : https://www.fairphone.com/fr

    Evan · Wednesday January 23rd, 2019 at 11:27 PM

    Oui… C’est dommage qu’il ne soit garanti que deux ans… ça paraît légèrement contradictoire avec une éventuelle durée de vie rallongée ^^’
    Mais je trouve l’idée très inintéressante et à ne surtout pas abandonner. Qui sais quand mon Samsung ne fonctionnera plus ce pourrais être une éventualité !

    Evan · Wednesday January 23rd, 2019 at 11:29 PM

    Flûte ! Je ne me suis pas relu, je voulais dire “intéressante” et non pas “inintéressante” ^^’

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