Electronic waste is a growing problem in the UK and throughout the world. The precious metals and toxic materials inside cell phones must be handled properly. It is important for cell phone users to dispose of and recycle their devices responsibly and ethically. The following are a collection of interesting mobile stats, obtained from the mobiles2money.co.uk infographic, which can be found below.
- The average working life of a mobile phone is 7 years, however, worldwide the average consumer changes their mobile every 11 months!
- Over 90% of materials in mobile phones can be recovered such as nickel, cadmium, cobalt, gold, silver, copper, plastics and other metals
- About 105 million mobile phones are thrown in the trash in Europe every year.
- There are many precious metals as well as harmful materials used in the manufacture of mobile phones, and by using phones for landfill instead of recycling them, we pose a hazard to the economy and to the environment.
- The average UK home has about 3 unused cell phones tucked away in closets and drawers, totalling approximately 80 million unused mobile phones in the UK.
Recycling mobile phones can help reduce the use of precious metals, such as:
- Cell phone circuit boards are often made of smelted down lead, copper, gold, beryllium, zinc, coltan and other fine metals required for the manufacturing process.
- The gold extracted from 80 million mobile phones, averaging 0.2 grams each, results in about 16 metric tons of valuable gold!
- A ton of used cell phones (6000 phones) yields an incredible £10,000 in precious metals.
- Approximately 6,000 contains about 3.5 kilograms of silver, 340 grams of gold, 140 grams of palladium, and 130 kg of copper.
- The average mobile phone battery contains another 3.5 grams of copper, an increasingly valuable material.
- Electronics that are improperly dismantled and burned can produce toxic emissions that are harmful to waste site workers, who in developing countries are often children.
- Various materials such as GOLD, COLTAN, COPPER, LEAD, and others are mined in the natural habitats of Africa, the Amazon rain forests and the Congo. Throwing valuable materials away, instead of recycling them, increases the demand and leads to further destruction of existing ecosystems.
Traces of the following toxic materials are also found in mobile phones:
- hexavalent chromium
- and flame retardants (found in cell phone batteries)
- Not only are these materials non-biodegradable, but they can enter the water supply, polluting our most valuable resource of all: fresh clean water.
- They say in London over 80 billion olympic size swimming pools worth of water could be polluted by discarded mobile phone batteries every year!
- One single cadmium mobile phone battery has the potential to pollute up to 600 thousand litres of water if not disposed of properly.
- Londoners purchase more than 1.3 million new mobiles phones every year.
For all those who are environmentally-conscious, consider trading in in your old mobile phone for cash at www.mobiles2money.co.uk. At mobiles2money, you can make seamless, monetary transactions while also safeguarding the planet!