Blog search results for Tag: smartphone

Sustainability & Environment

Over 1.5bn smartphones will be manufactured globally in 2019, each one filled with valuable minerals and metals such as gold, platinum and silver. On average, they will be kept for just 21 months before being replaced. Over 60% of them will end up in landfills. And even when recycled, some 30% of material will still be lost, because smartphone design, and contemporary recycling systems render its recovery inefficient.

 ewaste

The predicted mass of the global e-waste mountain by 2021 is > 52m t/year, according to the UN. 

Smartphones represent a fraction of global electronic waste. Discarded electronics are one of the fastest growing waste streams, with the UN predicting that the global e-waste mountain will reach over 52m t/year by 2021. Meantime, we are gradually running out of valuable minerals, such as neodymium, terbium and iridium, that are crucial in manufacturing electronics.

 smart phones ewaste

More than 60% of smartphones end up in landfills. Even if recycled, some 30% of material will still be lost. Image: Pixabay

As the scale of the problem is becoming clear, there has recently been a surge in efforts to understand what goes into electronic products, and how it can be recovered, says Susanne Baker from techUK, the association for companies in the digital economy. ‘We are seeing a lot of academic proposals looking at better understanding the flow of products and waste within the economy,’ says Baker, who heads the trade body’s environment and compliance programme.

Recycling e-waste into art. Source: Great Big Story