Technology products have become a huge part of our lives. No access to a laptop, computer, tablet or smartphone, even just for one day, would be a struggle for most of us! Whilst technology has become essential in today's world, its spread has also brought about a number of problems. One of the most concerning of all is the increase of e-waste. This is all electronic products such as mobile phones, computers, TVs and so on, that have become unwanted, non-working or obsolete and are thrown away instead of recycled.
- Some surprising stats
The US produces the most e-waste in the world - an unbelievable 9.4 million tonnes per year. In the UK, we produce 1.3 million tonnes of e-waste each year
Around 350,000 mobile phones are thrown away each day
At present, only 12.5% of all our e-waste is recycled.
By recycling 1 million cell phones, we could recover 350kg of silver, 34kg of gold, 16,000kg of copper and 15kg of palladium.
we can help save resources
We change mobile phones very quickly as newer, better models are constantly being released. Unfortunately, many of us are not aware that phones can be recycled and so they end up in the bin with the rest of our waste. By recycling old mobile phones we can help save resources, be kind to the environment and also make some money as many companies offer something in exchange for unwanted phones!
It's clear that if you don't want to damage the environment, you definitely shouldn't be chucking your old phones in the bin! What should you be doing instead though?
Old and unwanted phones need to be recycled carefully. The good news is that there are laws in place which ensure recycling companies take all the necessary precautions to prevent the chemicals in mobile phones ending up in the environment. The other good news is that some of the other materials in phones are precious! Some phones, such as iPhones, contain gold and silver in their body, so by recycling your old phones, you'll also be helping to preserve precious resources..
If you sell a working phone which is still in good condition, you can normally receive a good amount of money in return. You won't be able to sell non-working handsets for as much, but you should still receive something in return. Phone recycling companies collect working phones and sell them on to developing countries where people use them as refurbished devices. In this way, you can help people in other countries afford a phone.