In today’s techno-savvy world the rate at which mobile phones are being launched is driving everyone crazy. As mobile phone companies come up with new models they try to attract customers towards the new features and convince them to buy the latest handset. At present, the average lifespan of mobile phones has decreased to around one year, with every new mobile launched the accumulation of unused and unwanted mobile phones keeps increasing.
You would be shocked after reading this astonishing fact! In the year 2014, Europe alone generated an e-waste of 15 kg per capita, this is the highest waste produced in any region in the world, despite the fact that around 70 percent of the material used in making a mobile phone is recyclable. Theoretically speaking the precious metals found in the mobile phone can be recycled many times to produce low carbon supply for electronic gadgets.
According to the US. EPA’s reports at present we are only able to recycle 11 percent of our cell phones as compared to 40 percent of our computers. Thus, we need to find ways to recycle mobile phones. Therefore, reusing the old handsets is the best way of recycling mobile phones. Recycling mobile phones and reusing them helps the environment by conserving natural resources and saving energy. It also keeps the reusable materials from getting dumped.
Benefits of Recycling Mobile Phones
As mentioned earlier cell phones contain a variety of precious metals, carbon, and high-quality plastics Recycling or reusing mobile phones will not only conserve these valuable materials, but it will also prevent water and air pollution and reduce the greenhouse gas emissions which take place while manufacturing, processing and extracting virgin materials.
Reasons you should Consider to Recycle Mobile Phones
Recycling mobile phones will have a huge impact on the natural resources. As metals used to make millions of phones each year can be re-used. This will directly reduce the need to dig the mother earth for new metals, this will, in turn, save energy as less fossil fuel will get depleted. Lesser fossil fuel will use result in lesser carbon emissions.
By recycling, just one mobile phone can save enough power to charge a laptop or PC for around 44 hours. If America alone recycled all of the 130 million mobile phones which are disposed of annually, it could save enough energy to supply power to more than 24,000 homes for a year. Studies show that by recycling one million mobile phones, we can recover 35kg of gold, 350kg of silver, 15kg of palladium, and 16000kg of copper; other essential metals like zinc, tin, and platinum are also present in cell phones.
Apart from useful materials mobile phones also contain harmful materials such as mercury, arsenic, lead, cadmium and flame retardants. These too can be recycled and reused and if any of these materials are left in landfills then they can contaminate the soil, groundwater, and air and in turn cause deadly diseases.
Recycle or Donate your Mobile Phones
As mentioned early with every new launch of a mobile phone the average lifespan of a cell phone has decreased to 12-18 months. It’s not bad to buy a new mobile phone but next time when you do so instead of discarding your old one or dumping it into a drawer where it will just get dirty it’s better to recycle your mobile phone and its accessories, especially the ones which are in working condition. Consider donating them to someone who is in a need of a new phone and can’t buy one. You can also consider selling the old one to someone who sells second-hand mobiles.
How Mobile Phones are Recycled
Many people are unaware of the procedure involved in recycling mobile phones or where this whole process takes place. the most popular way to recycle mobile phone is to separate the working parts of a broken cell phone and combine them with the working parts of other used mobile phones to get one mobile which is ready to use. The newly built phone can then be sent back to the market for selling. Another method recycling mobile phones is to melt down the components and isolate them, this makes the extraction of valuable natural resources like gold, and platinum easier. Recycling mobile phones are easy and are a great way to generate funds for charities and non-profit programs.
How Materials from Recycled Mobile Phones Used?
Most of the material used in manufacturing a mobile phone like metals, plastics, and rechargeable batteries are reusable, they can be recovered and used to make new electronic gadgets. The metals recovered by recycled mobile phones can be used in various industries for instance in jewelry making, automotive and electronic manufacturing. In the same way, the recovered plastic can also be recycled into plastic components for new plastic products, for example, plastic furniture, packaging and in the manufacture of new electronic devices or auto parts. On the other hand, when rechargeable batteries cannot be reused, they are recycled to make rechargeable battery products.
Where can you Send Mobile Phones for Recycling?
If you don’t have enough time to visit a charitable or nonprofit organization then you can send your mobile phones online for recycling. Nowadays, shopping malls have started keeping recycle bins where you can dump your old unused mobile phones.
22nd April is Earth day, if we all pledge that from now onwards we will give our mobile phones for recycling then every day would be Earth day. As practically speaking it’s still not too late to consider the benefits of recycling, reusing and refurbishing the mobile phones. If we all decide to recycle our used mobile phones the next time we purchase a new mobile then surely, we will be able to cut the overall e-waste percentage. Thus, it is very crucial to spread the knowledge about recycling mobile phones. Hence, we all should try to protect the Earth from further contamination and depletion as much as we can.