I will not rush to upgrade to the latest smartphone model on offer and when I upgrade, I will be sure my old phone is repurposed or recycled responsibly. Fact: Extending the lifespan of smartphones and other electronics by just one year in the EU would save as much carbon emissions as taking two million cars off the roads annually. Source
We all love our smartphones but do we need to upgrade with every new feature offered by manufacturers?
Almost 1.5 billion phones are made and sold every year, and the resources used to make those phones are finite. Even if you recycle your old phone, up to 35% of those resources are lost in the recycling process.
The UN stated last year that electronic and electrical waste reached 50 million tonnes with just a fifth of the e-waste formally recycled. Millions of people work informally recycling these materials and are often exposed to dangerous working environments.
A smartphone is made up of 62 different metals and metalloids. In order to obtain these precious metals and produce a single smartphone, 34kg of ore is mined, using 100 litres of water and 20.5g of cyanide.
According to the EPA, between 130 million and 150 million phones are abandoned in the US every year.
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