Have you ever wondered what happens to your old technology when you don’t have a use for it anymore? It’s a question not many of us ask ourselves. If we did, we might be shocked by the answer. That’s because lots of the electrical goods we no longer use become e-waste. E-waste, which is short for electronic waste, includes anything with plugs, cords, or electronic components that ends up in landfills. This encompasses everything from old mobile phones and unwanted tablets to televisions and computers.
But why is this a problem, and what can we do to combat it?
What’s the problem with electronic waste?
When we first hear about e-waste, most of us don’t understand why it’s such a problem. While we know landfills aren’t good for the environment in general, it goes above and beyond that. That’s because dumped electronic goods can release toxic substances into soil and water sources, such as lead and mercury.
It’s even worse because the UK is one of the number one culprits, generating 23.9kg of e-waste per capita in 2019 alone.
Not only is this damaging for the environment, but these dumped electronics also contain lots of valuable non-renewable resources that are going to waste, such as aluminium, cobalt, copper, gold, platinum, and silver.
How can recycling smartphones help?
So, how can recycling smartphones help? It’s pretty simple. In 2022, we rely on our mobiles for almost everything, but once we’re done with them, we often just throw them away. This might be because they’re broken or because they’re an older model with no real resale value.
If you’ve found yourself in either of these scenarios, you can be part of the solution. Firstly, if you have a broken phone, ask yourself if you really need to replace it. According to the experts, lots of phones can be fixed, and this could be a key component in successfully reducing e-waste. A lot of the time, it will also save you money, with it costing less to repair an existing device than to purchase a new one.
Even if you do decide to upgrade your phone, don’t automatically get rid of your old mobile. Instead, see if there’s anyone out there who might like to buy it, even for a minimal sum. While it might be redundant for your purposes, there are others who might not need such a high-tech model.
Take, for example, an individual who only uses their phone to make calls, check emails, and play games. If the biggest ask they’re expecting of it is to find a provider and enjoy online bingo UK, they could easily do this with an older model. Thanks to most internet sites being mobile optimised, they’d have an equally good experience on a refurbished iPhone 8 as the newest iPhone 13 Pro.
Not only this, but you’d have earned some money for your good deed and know you’d contributed to reducing e-waste. Even if you couldn’t find a seller, there’s always the option of actively recycling too, with MoneySupermarket being a great place to start.
Isn’t it time you considered how you can make a difference?