Mobile Phone Recycling: A Necessity In Present Times

By on December 12, 2012

Here’s an interesting fact: mobile phones can be recycled. Yes, it’s true! So, the next time your phone has reached the end of its life, you should recycle it. We live in the age of communication overload and the center piece of this setting is a mobile phone. With an increased need to be in contact with each other at all times, mobile phone is no longer just an entity—it has certainly achieved the status of a “necessity” for the social animal.

Recycling

So, what do you do with your phone when it has run its course? Recyclers and environmentalists are increasingly worried about the rapidly expanding ‘electronic waste’ in the world. In an estimate, 70% of metal of landfills in America come from scrap electronics, with mobile phones contributing a large share to that amount.

Although, the recent awareness campaigns by environmental organizations addressing the issue of hazardous wastes of cell phones damaging the environment have increased the number of people who recycle, still an alarming 7% of the total phone owners in US simply throw away their handsets. The chemical leakage from cellular phones seep into the land, damaging the underground water system.

Anti-Electronic Waste Campaigns

Environmental protection groups, such as Greenpeace, have launched high-powered campaigns against some of the biggest mobile phone manufacturing companies—demanding that they should take the necessary steps to make their products more recyclable and environment-friendly.

Environmental Issues With iPhone

Greenpeace has claimed that a few design features in Apple’s ‘iPhone’ devices make it very difficult, rather impossible, to recycle it, e.g. the soldering of its battery to the handset. Moreover, it also maintains that some of the cables used in iPhone and others have traces of toxic phthalates. As per American Law, companies need to mention any sort of bio-hazardous side effects that their products may have, and failing to do so may result in a penalty.

USA and Electronic Waste

Concerns over the USA’s policy of not banning the export of toxic wastes have been expressed by some of the leading environmentalists in the world. USA is one of the biggest electronics market in the world and hence, the largest exporter of electronic waste to countries like China and India. In an estimate by the Basel Action Network, about 80% of the electronic waste destined to be recycled into US was actually exported to other countries.

In times where ecological threats like Global Warming have created uncertainty in our environment, the last thing we need is another global hazard. The way world is progressing in technology, it is certain that electronic waste will surely increase. To counter this threat, market leaders in cell phones and other electronics should realize their duty and take steps to control electronic waste. Although a number of global initiatives, such as Top Dollar Mobile, have started providing mobile phone recycling services, still if individuals and mobile phone manufacturers do not cooperate, the situation will surely get worse.

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