Mobile phone technology allows us to learn, connect with and communicate to people around the globe. It’s utility has helped propel humanity into a new era of instant communication allowing for all sorts of opportunities that previously did not exist. The world has embraced mobile technology, so much so that in India, there are more mobile phones than toilets!
Australians upgrade their phones roughly every 24 months. As the next generation of phones is purchased, older generation phones have traditionally been passed on to immediate family members. As more brand new phones are purchased, there are fewer people to pass these older generation phones due to there being a smaller pool of people without phones. This is one of the reasons why there are over “23 million unwanted phones” in drawers all over
Australia according to Mobile Muster. Depending on how these phones are disposed this lot of unwanted phones could be an environmental catastrophe. Incorrect disposal of consumer electronics poses an environmental issue. E-waste will be one of the largest environmental issues this century alongside clean energy consumption and climate change.
“Electronic waste, or ‘e-waste’ can include all electronical products that are no longer wanted or useful”. E-waste contains chemicals such as Arsenic, Beryllium, Cadmium, Lead, Lithium, Mercury, Nickel and more. There are also useful materials in e-waste such as Gold, Silver, Copper, Lithium and plastics. E-waste is so bad in fact, that it is banned from being thrown in regular landfill bins across Australia. The reason is quite clear; we as a society do not want our country, nor any other country to end up like the Agbogbloshi e-waste dumping site.
By recycling your mobile phones properly, we can efficiently extract around 94% of the materials in the phone and reuse them to make other things. Reusing recycled materials saves us from having to dig holes to get those resources. This helps reduces potential greenhouse emissions that are caused by our little mobile phone. Keeping a spare phone means that spare phone will not realise its full working life. Consumerism is bad for the environment, unnecessary consumerism even worse. If you don’t need the phone, simply sell it or recycle it.
If you need to throw away your old phone, simply pop down to your local Mobile Muster bin. You can sell your phone online and there are many ways to do this. eBay, Gumtree,as well as local Facebook buy and sell pages are good places to look to sell your mobile phone. Greener Mobile is a recommerce website that provides a service were you can sell your phone. It’s ultimately quite easy to recycle your mobile phone and help make the entire consumer electronics industry more sustainable.