The last decade has witnessed the shift from the bulky qwerty devices to the new genre of sleek, light, fast, and energy-efficient mobile phones.
The tendency to change and carry the most advanced versions has been at an all-time high.
Resultant is the massive disposal of mobile phones to increase the used mobile market and augment mobile phone recycling volumes.
Over 50% of the global population uses the internet today with increasing usage on handheld devices. The number of internet users is increasing exponentially every year, whereas the phone recycling numbers increase is minimal. Though much more than what it was a decade earlier.
Research suggests that,
- Over £40 billion of recoverable materials are mothballed and binned every year in the UK.
- The number of mobile phone subscribers in the UK (7.7 billion) surpasses the population (7.4 billion)
Recent research by Nokia in thirteen countries advises that only 4% of old mobile phones are flung away and dumped on landfills, still less are recycled.
UK consumer group Consumer Focus’s assesses that there are over 85 million unused mobiles in the UK. 11% of the respondents acknowledged holding five handsets at once.
Adding to it, a report by Green Alliance revealed that 28-125 million phones stay unused in UK alone. It translates to that for every phone in use, there are up to four that sit in drawers.
There are two main reasons why most mobiles do not get recycled or resold to mobile phone recycling companies. Firstly the users are in a dilemma if the factory reset option deletes all the data when they sell old mobile phones. No one would want their personal and sensitive data to get public. Secondly, once the screen and display gets broken, it loses all its charm and value.
It’s critical that we reduce our consumption and also recycle the remains. When it’s about mobile, keeping valuable and rare materials in circulation is an excellent way to care for our planet.
Daisy is a new generation robot from Apple that could take apart 200 iPhones/hour. Recycling 1.2 million iPhones/year may sound remarkable only until you know that Apple sold 218 million units last year. Though Daisy is just a drop of a solution in the ocean of e-waste, however, it’s still commendable on Apple’s part to do whatever it can to reduce the damaging impact of its waste products.
Can phone manufacturers do something to make phones more recyclable?
Absolutely! Design for recovery and disassembly of these metals is so important, and the existing trend for miniaturisation is surely a hindrance in easing recovery.
It isn’t a big deal to recycle your smart phone when you’re actually done with it, especially when the used phone market is expanding every moment. There are companies that could fetch you a happy amount for your phone and also keep it away from polluting landfills.
The recent mobile recycling trends suggest that you could one of the following to recycle your old mobile phone:
1. Selling old mobile phonesonline
2. Pass it on to a fried, family or someone in need.
3. Trade-in your device
4. Sell it to a cell phone recycling company
5. Recycle your smartphone with charity
Irrespective of whatever you do with your phone, it must find a way to be recycled properly rather than hitting a landfill. We should be cognizant of our responsibility towards our environment and should enthusiastically contribute our bit towards its upkeep. By all means, we should ensure that we leave this planet at least in the same condition that our forefathers left for us, if not better.
Nutshell, next time when you get yourself a new phone, please don’t neglect your old one or throw it away. Instead, do your bit to initiate the process of mobile phone recycling or reuse it for something constructive that does not harm the planet.