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Mobile Phone Recycling Facts and Statistics in Australia


Ben Turner 2022-04-05 07:54:03


The world is making technological progress tremendously. In recent years, smartphones penetration rate increased across the world. According to statistics, around 6.64 billion people worldwide use a smartphone. This means 83 percent of the world's population carries phones. The number is expected to increase exponentially in the coming years. Smartphone shipment has grown by 4 percent. Therefore, smartphones are making the largest fraction of electronic waste. This article will give an insight into the impacts of smartphones. Furthermore, the effects which are reduced from recycling phones will be discussed.

Why You Need to Recycle your Smartphone / Mobile Phone in Australia

Whether you're the company's CEO or a high school student, the smartphone would hold prime importance in your life. The smartphone penetration rate in Australia has increased. It reached from 75 percent to 79 percent between 2015 to 2021.

Each year, 50 million tons of electronic waste is produced across the globe. This is equivalent to throwing out 1000 laptops every second. Sounds crazy, isn't it? Mobile phones, smartphones, laptops, TV, and kitchen appliances are prominent electronic waste items.

Australian's Smartphone and the potential Environmental Cost

The manufacturing of smartphones has a high footprint. The same goes when the phone is discarded. Discarded smartphones end up in landfills that affect human health and the environment. Toxic materials are used in smartphones such as Lead, cadmium, and polychlorinated biphenyls. These hazardous materials cause environmental damage. Their disposal in landfill sites releases hazardous substances such as dioxins and Polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). PAHs remain in the environment for a long time and contribute to air pollution. Also, the toxic material seep into the soil and affected the activities of microflora. Leaking of material contaminates groundwater. It also adversely affects humans, animals, and plants when they consume it.

Hazards associated with not selling or recycling your Second Hand mobile phone

You'll hardly think where the electronic waste you've discarded will go. Toxins from hazardous materials are released into the environment. PAHs are fine particles that can be inhaled and ingested. This way, discarded smartphones affect human health. Dioxins and PAHs are highly toxic substances. Dioxins affect the reproductive system. PAHs are cancer-causing agents.

Fine particles of diameter 2.5 micrometers and less are absorbed through our skin. They circulate throughout the body with blood.

A study revealed that child in Ghana would absorb 220 times more chlorinated dioxins than the daily intake limit of the European Food Intake Authority.

High Carbon Footprint

The use of smartphones is rapidly increasing as they are replacing all other equipment.

Around 80 percent of the carbon footprint of the smartphone is during its production phase. However, end-of-life phase also have impact. Annual global warming potential impact from the use stage of a smartphone is 7kg equivalent carbon dioxide.

Smartphone waste is increasing each year. Their dumping also has severe environmental consequences. Greenhouse gas emissions from a smartphone are 19kg carbon dioxide equivalent annually. The figure is estimated for a lifetime of three years. Imagine the emissions from the manufacturing of 6.64 billion smartphones.

More Phones than Humans

According to statistics, there were around 7.26 billion smartphones in the world in 2021. This makes up 92 percent of the world's population. That shows that the number of smartphones will be higher than the number of people living on the planet.

About 20.30 million smartphone users are in Australia. The country has the second-highest smartphone penetration rate right after the US. The staggering figures show how smartphone penetration is significantly contributing to electronic waste.

Only 20% of Smartphones are Recycled in Australia

According to US environmental protection agency (EPA), only 20 percent of phones are recycled. Rest are ended up in landfills. If there is no point in use, the smartphone is recycled. Recycling is one of the best ways to manage a massive number of smartphones. Here are some benefits of recycling smartphones.

The old smartphone has Value - Sell or Trade Your Mobile Phone today

More than 90 percent of mobile phones can quickly be recovered. The valuable metals are used for the manufacturing of smartphones. It can be recovered by employing cleaner recycling techniques. For instance, recycling 1 million cellphones can recover 20,000 lbs of copper, 550 lbs. of silver, 50 lbs. gold, 55 lbs. palladium. The material can be used in other products and services.

Save Natural Resources

Manufacturing a new phone required material and energy. While recycling of old smartphone does not add burden on resources. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) shows that recycling smartphones is more environmentally-friendly than manufacturing a new one. This way, recycling could save natural resources such as minerals and materials, plastic, and glass.

Make Technology Accessible to Everyone

Over 95 percent of cellphones are resold after their recycling. The latest smartphones are costly. Technology becomes inaccessible to people having a low income. Therefore, many consumers choose to buy a recycled phone. There is a huge demand for used phones across the globe. Recycling phones helps reduce the burden on Environment. Also, it keeps the demand-supply curve in balance. Fewer phones manufacturing means less environmental impact.

Getting resold in the national market, recycled or recycled phones are also exported in other countries. There is a massive demand for pre-owned smartphones in China, India, Africa, and Latin America. Also, in developing countries telecommunication system is not fixed. So, mobile phones are the only source of communication. In such countries recycled smartphones help people connect with the rest of the world.

Recycling Save's Energy

According to EPA, each month, 11 million smartphones are discarded. As discussed above, only 20 percent of smartphones are recycled. However, recycling has a huge potential to save energy. Recycling 1 million smartphones could save energy up to the electricity consumed by 3,70,000 consumers in the US for one year.

Aside from environmental and human health costs, the valuable materials also went to the trash. The amount of metals seems minute for one smartphone, but it becomes significant when added numbers. It is estimated that gold from the world's e-waste accounts for 11 percent of the total amount of gold mined each year.

Reduce Impacts on Marine and Terrestrial Ecosystem

Manufacturing of smartphone release toxic chemicals that become part of environment. Toxic chemicals in electronic waste seep into the soil and contaminate groundwater. Heavy metals make their way to rivers, lakes, and eventually the sea. According to a study, traces of heavy metals have been found in marine grass and mangroves. Acidification and toxication are built up in water. Ocean acidification kills marine organisms and also disturbs their reproduction cycle. Acidification can damage the ecosystem to a point where recovery is not possible.

The toxins are also released into the air. Under suitable meteorological conditions, they become secondary pollutants - which are more harmful. Also, the pollutants come down as Acid rain and damage plants, humans, and animals. Acid rain also causes the death of marine animals such as fish.

Miners aggressively dig for ores that destroy the natural habitat of many animals. Habitat destruction leads to their death and even extinction. By reuse and recycling, the habitat of many animals can be conserved.

Reduce workers Exploitation

Some of the material that is used in smartphones is removed through mining. To name a few, cobalt is extracted from underground mines. Child labor is used for this purpose. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, children are employed to extract minerals from Earth. Recycling smartphones reduces the need for mining. Furthermore, after the devices ended up in landfills, people removed this valuable material. They employed poor techniques such as incineration. This affects their health. Planned recycling could save the exploitation of the workforce.

The extended life cycle of the product

An average American changes their smartphone after two years. The average life cycle of a smartphone is 2 to 3 years. After that, the phone ended up in landfills or recycled. Recycling extends the lifecycle of a smartphone up to 9 years. Therefore, recycling extends the life cycle of a phone almost five times.

How Does Smartphone Recycling Help you?

We've seen how recycling smartphones could help to save natural resources. Furthermore, we have learned how it reduce impacts on the environment. Recycling will minimize the effects on human health. Now, let's discuss how recycling can help you.

Make some cash by Selling your iPhone in Australia

Recycling your smartphone can make a Win-Win situation. It helps you make a few bucks which would not be possible if you throw it away.

How much you'll get from selling your old phone? This is quite tricky. The smartphone is a relatively expensive item. So old phones are still worth a lot of money when it comes to recycling. To make sure to get a handsome amount, check for more than one recycling company as the price vary significantly. Mobile Trade could help you get the most cash for your old cell phone. By comparing prices from different recycling unit it can save your time and hassle. Mobile Trade recycles its product in an environmentally friendly manner. Thus, assures that it's your single stop to recycle your old smartphone.

Declutter your home by Trading Old Mobile Phones

Most people keep their old phones in a drawer and forget about it. Recycling could help you declutter your home. Recycling will help you to make money. It will also make you responsible for the sustainable management of your waste. Giving away your old phone helps you to make some much-needed space in your drawer.

Smartphone Recycling – Why Use Mobile Trade?

The above discussion has shown how recycling can save us. From natural resources to workforce and the natural environment. There are different recycling techniques. So, it's essential to consider the company that recycles products in an environmentally friendly manner.

Mobile Trade adheres to strict environmental policies regarding recycling. This ensure that product is recycled with minimum environmental impacts.

So, when using Mobile Trade you can rest assured that you're getting the best price for your old phone and doing your bit for the environment.

What is Electronic Waste and How it Affects Australia

Disposed of electronic items are termed electronic waste or e-waste. It is one of the fastest-growing waste across the globe after the technological revolution. IT sector is continuously upgrading. Therefore, new electronic products are launched other day. People continuously upgrade their products. And old ones end up in landfills.

Electronic equipment is widely used in our daily life. To name a few, smartphones, laptops, TV, kitchen products, and many more. Consumers discard their old products that add to the e-waste.

According to EPA, almost 7 million electronic waste is discarded each year. So, the management of e-waste has become a global challenge.

Since electronic waste is growing exponentially, it's now become crucial to think about minimizing e-waste by reusing and recycling. Tossing electronic products in landfill sites is not a sustainable solution because it affects the environment in the long run. In return, humans and animals are getting affected by it. Therefore, businesses must look at Eco-friendly alternatives to use obsolete and unwanted electronic products.

E-waste; Facts and Statistics

Electronic waste is growing exponentially, making it one of the biggest global challenges for the future. Following are some facts about electronic waste:

In 2020, more than 5.5 million electronic waste was thrown away in landfills.

According to the US environmental protection agency, only 20 percent of electronic products are recycled.

China is the most significant contributor to e-waste production, followed by the United States. Australia is among the highest technology users. So e-waste is becoming the fastest growing waste. Electronic waste in Australia is growing three times faster than any other type of waste.

According to UN statistics, 20-50 metric tons of electronic waste are disposed of each year.

According to the UN's e-waste monitoring report, valuable material worth $57 billion is dumped in landfill sites.

According to Electronics Hub, Australia produces 21.7kg of electronic waste per capita. This has made Australia the 5th largest producer of e-waste. Only 10 percent of e-waste is recycled in Australia.

One in every three children in Australia between the age of 6 to 13 has a smartphone in his hand. This shows that Australia is now becoming the top consumer of electronic products across the world.

Electronic waste produced in developed countries is exported to developing countries. For example, 80 percent of electronic waste generated in the US is exported to Asia.

Globally, the electronic waste mass has doubled in the last nine years. Each year, electronic waste is growing at the rate of 5 percent -faster than any other type of waste. It is expected to reach a peak of 74.7 million metric tons by 2030.

A study found that manufacturing every ton of CRT product releases 2.9 metric tons of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Recycling these products could help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which will reduce global warming.

Electronic waste releases only 10 percent of greenhouse gases (GHGs) into the environment when recycled.

From the above discussion, it has become clear that the electronic waste management problem has become a major global challenge. So, it's of utmost importance to dispose of our electronic products environmentally friendly.

It is essential to pick the company which recycles electronic devices in an environmentally friendly manner. Otherwise, there is no use in recycling the electrical product if it is incinerated.

Mobile Trade proudly recycles smartphones, tablets, laptops, and other electronic equipment.

Following strict environmental standards while recycling is necessary to make sure that recycled product has less water and carbon footprint as compared to making a product from scratch. You must have peace of mind while availing our services - trade-in your old phone - that you're contributing to making the environment clean.


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