Apple and Samsung are in trouble for child exploitation and environmental pollution, according to reports. Both companies have been slammed by Friends of the Earth
Samsung has admitted to using tin from mines in Indonesia and says it is committed to addressing the problem. Apple is yet to release a statement on the matter.
Macworld reproted in February that Friends of the Earth had accused Apple and Samsung of "trashing tropical forests and coral reefs in Indonesia" with its use of tin in the iPhone and iPad.
Samsung responded to Friends of the Earth's claims, however, Apple has not issued a statement on the matter. "Apple has refused to answer its own customers' questions about Bangka - even though Apple almost certainly uses the island's tin," a Friends of the Earth spokesperson told Korea Times.
Samsung issued the following statement to Friends of the Earth: "While we do not have a direct relationship with tin suppliers from Bangka Island, we do know that some of the tin that we use for manufacturing our products does originate from this area."
Samsung promised: "We are also undertaking a thorough investigation of our supply chain in the region to better understand what is happening, and what part we play."
A Guardian report states that the unregulated tin mining "depends on child labour, wrecks the environment and kills an estimated 150 miners every year".
An investigation by The Guardian last November, found that 150 miners a year die trying to mine the islands tin.
According to Friends of the Earth, the average tablet/Apple iPad weighs 650g and contains 1.3g of tin-rich solder. The organization claims that all electronic gadgets contain tin-rich solder, an alloy of at least 95 per cent tin with a little silver and copper, to hold together resistors, transistors and circuit boards.
Almost half of all mined tin is turned into solder for the electronics industry. Around a third of the world's tin is from the Indonesian islands of Bangka and Belitung, claims Friends of the Earth.