Recycling and reusing old mobile phones can have a positive impact on the environment by saving energy, protecting natural resources and stopping materials which can be reused from being taken to landfills where they go to waste.
Mobile phones and tablet devices are packed with reusable materials including precious metals, plastics and copper. Recycling these devices means these materials can be conserved and it also limits the air and water pollution that is produced whilst mobile phones are being manufactured.
Five Reasons to Recycle Mobile Phones
It’s believed only around 10% of mobile phones are recycled. This needs to change and these statistics below from the US are a good example of why we should be recycling our old mobile phones:
A single mobile phone being recycled saves enough energy to power a laptop computer for over 40 hours.
In America 130 million mobile phones get thrown away and if they were recycled we’d save enough energy to power over 20,000 homes for a whole year.
For every 1 million mobile phones that are recycled it’s possible to recover 75lbs of gold, 772lbs of silver, 33lbs of palladium ad over 35,000lbs of copper. They also contain zinc, tin and platinum.
Recycling 1 million mobile phones would also save enough energy to provide electricity to over 150 households for a whole year.
It’s also important to consider that mobile phones are packed with hazardous materials including lead, mercury, arsenic and cadmium. Many of these materials can be recycled or reused and shouldn’t be left to rot in landfills as they can spread into water supplies and cause significant damage to the environment.
Recycle or Reuse
The average lifespan of a mobile phone is 18-24 months as most users are ready to upgrade to a new one in this time period. Once your contract expires you want the newest phone on the market and your old one gets forgotten about.
Rather than letting your old phone go to waste why not recycle it? You can donate it to charity or you can make some cash. The new iPhone is weeks from being available so it’s the perfect moment to decide that it’s time to sell your iPhone, and you can find many reliable online sources as well as high street environments where you can sell your old phone. It certainly beats letting it sit in a drawer and going to waste!
Mobile phones which are donated can be reused or resold or broken down for parts. Some charities use them to educate people in mobile technology so you can be sure your old phone isn’t being put to no use.
What happens to recycled phones?
Recycled phones which aren’t able to be reused are broken down. The majority of materials within mobile phones can be recovered and then used to make new products. The metals within phones can be used across a range of industries including jewellery, electronics and even in cars.
Plastics from mobile phones can be recycled into a range of things including new mobile phones and other electronics.
If you’re in line for an upgrade then don’t forget to get some cash back on your old phone.