Practically everyone owns a cell phone today in our society. But what happens to these phones when we get rid of them for not working? What are we supposed to do with them? Can we recycle them?
What are mobile phones made of?
Cell phones are composed of multiple varieties of glass, metals, and plastic. Glass is used to make up the phone screens, and it’s combined with aluminum oxide as well as silicon dioxide. Metals are used to construct the phone case, batteries as well as various other elements included on the mobile device. More specifically, aluminum alloys are used to make the phone case, and lithium carbon oxide combined with carbon graphite is used to produce the batteries. In addition to these metal elements, gold, silver, and copper are used to compose these devices.
Lastly, plastics make up much of the mobile devices, since it has many benefits. Plastic allows the phone to have flexibility, no reception problems, and extra durability in extreme temperatures. Plastic also causes the phone to have damage-resistant properties. Almost all of the materials used to produce cell phones can be recycled as well as reused. Actually, copper, gold, metal, plastic, and glass are all commonly recycled materials!
Benefits to Recycling Mobile Devices
There are multiple benefits to recycling your mobile devices instead of throwing them away to end up in landfills, including:
According to various studies, recycling one single mobile cell phone conserves enough energy for a computer to be powered for up to 40 hours. Not only would recycling every cell phone conserve up to millions of hours of energy, but energy can also be saved by preventing the manufacturing of these materials. If the materials used to make cell phones were recycled, then the need for more of these materials decreases, thus decreasing the need to extract these materials to produce cell phones.
Copper, glass, metals, gold, and plastic can all be reused to make various other products. Because of this, if we saved and reused these materials, then we would be decreasing the extracting and manufacturing of these elements to make the other products. Additionally, the materials used to make cell phones don’t have to be the only elements reused, since the cell phones themselves have the possibility of being used again as well.
Money can be saved by the reusing and recycling of cell phones and their materials, since reusing and recycling prevents the need to manufacture and obtain more materials for other new products. In addition to this, individuals also have the possibility of earning their own money for their phones. Certain companies will pay people for their old phones, and then these companies either fix the old phone, reuse the parts of the phone for other products, or they recycle its materials.
Helps the environment
Not only does reusing and recycling your old cell phones reduce the need for producing and extracting new materials for new products, but it also prevents the damage of cell phone waste in landfills. Cell phones are considered hazardous waste because they contain certain chemicals that can affect the groundwater systems located at landfills. There are toxic chemicals in both the cases and especially the batteries of mobile phones, which technically classifies phones as toxic waste. By reusing or recycling your old phone, you’re helping the environment by preventing air as well as water pollution, and you’re reducing greenhouse gas emissions that occur during the manufacturing of cell phones.
Overall, reusing and recycling your old cell phone has many benefits that affect both the environment as well as humans. Considering how many people in the world possess cell phones in addition to considering how many cell phones are thrown into landfills every day, there is so much potential to save the energy that’s used in these processes. Because of the benefits to the environment as well as the benefits to humans, you should recycle your old cell phones!