1 Answer | Add Yours
When a mineral becomes scarce there are five things that can be done:
The unnecessary waste of the mineral can be reduced
- For example, by streamlining the manufacturing process
The mineral can be recycled and reused
-For example, metals and plastics can be melted down after they have outlived their use, and used to create new products.
A substitution for the mineral can be found, and/or
-For example, during the materials revolution, the use of metals was replaced in many cases by the use of silicon, ceramics and/or plastics instead. Substitutions, however, are not always feasible or even possible.
We can use what is remaining more sustainably
-Some of the above mentioned points can be included in using the mineral more sustainably. Others ways to do so include:
- Include the environmental impact of mining in processing of the mineral in the price of the item
- Reduce mining subsidies, and increase subsidies for recycling, reuse and finding substitutes
- Use the mineral waste from one process as raw materials for another process
We can adapt to go without it
- Scientists have a lot of faith in the ingenuity of humans. Were a mineral resource to become completely extinct, there is much faith in the adaptability our species to learn how to go without it.
We’ve answered 319,998 questions. We can answer yours, too.Ask a question