Global Recycling Day was created by the Global Recycling Foundation in 2018 to recognise the importance of recycling to sustain the planet’s finite resources for years to come. It was a day created with the intention of focusing on being environmentally friendly for the sake of future generations and for the overall health of the earth. The Global Recycling foundation outline their main goals as urging world leaders to prioritise the creation of strategies to facilitate recycling and to encourage the general public to recycle as much as possible.
Other than the obvious financial benefit that it gives you (the consumer), recycling your phone also helps the environment. A little-known fact about mobile phones is that many of them end up as e-waste, which means that they are harmful to the environment. E-waste is essentially electronic devices that are discarded and not responsibly recycled, including smartphones on landfill sites. To put the scale of this issue into perspective, around 50 million tonnes of e-waste are produced each year as on an individual basis, around 29.4kg of e-waste is produced per person. One of the main issues regarding e-waste is that it can have a plethora of adverse effects on the environment, animal populations and people who live close to those sites.
There are many ways in which e-waste that is not responsibly recycled can affect the environment. These include the increased number of airborne diseases caused by the heating of e-waste releasing toxic chemicals into the air, and toxins that are released when e-waste is dumped in ground water that affect organisms and people living there who rely on the vegetation. E-waste is the world’s fastest growing waste problem, and it’s something that isn’t mentioned frequently in public discourse regarding environmental issues.
While e-waste is a global issue, there are some simple steps that we we can all take so that we as consumers can be more responsible with our devices to reduce our environmental impact in the long term.
Many smartphone consumers are seduced by the annual offering of an updated phone model with attractive new software features and hardware changes, which leads them to upgrading their former devices unnecessarily. This is evidenced by the fact that British people change their phones every 27.7 months on average, when they could be keeping their devices for longer if they are working normally. We would strongly recommend that you hold on to your current device for longer than two years, unless it has become completely unusable. The longer you keep hold of your phone, the less CO2-equivalent will be produced each year. This is better for both for the environment and your wallet.
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Refurbished smartphones are devices which have been given a second lease of life. Recycling companies will assess the phone’s condition, make any necessary repairs, and fix any signs of wear and tear. Once these steps have taken place, your smartphone will be ready to go back on the market.
We would highly recommend that you buy a refurbished device for several reasons. The main motivator is that you will be able to save hundreds of pounds over the course of your phone’s contract, and it is also a cheaper way to buy a phone outright. If you want to save even more, you can also use a more affordable SIM-only contract. The most important reason why you should buy a refurbished phone though is that it is a more environmentally friendly option. Getting a refurbished device means one less smartphone getting left to become e-waste.
When the time comes to sell your phone, make sure that you do it the smart way and use our recycling company comparison tool. You can use our site to determine which recycler is offering the best deal for your device, which will give you money that you can later put towards your upgrade. Recycling your phone is an easy way to be an environmentally conscious consumer, and you can save money on your next smartphone by doing it. What have you got to lose?
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