Electronic waste (eWaste) has been growing rapidly over the years. In 2014, the United Nations University reported an overall global eWaste of around 41.8 million tonnes and that figure could potentially rise to over 20% or roughly around 50 million tonnes by 2018. India has now become the 5th largest eWaste contributor in the world by generating 1.7 million tonnes of digital waste last year alone. Electronic trash is predicted to rise and worsen as currently there’s less than 10% of digital scraps being recycled properly worldwide.
How can we personally help in lessening the electronic waste in the world? Start by disposing or recycling your old mobile devices correctly, and here’s how:
Participate in recycling programs
Mobile devices have due dates, usually this is after two years wherein another upgraded handset or tablet replaces it. Initially, people tend to upgrade their devices and keep the old gadget as a backup, unaware that this constitutes to the increasing problem of electronic waste. How do we fix this issue? Firstly, you can sign up to join reuse and recycle programs near you to ensure that your digital technologies are properly recycled in an eco-friendly manner.
In India, Attero offers responsible recycling of eWaste to achieve a sustainable planet. They offer a viable solution in emerging economies by setting up smelting plants to process digital trash. Instead of keeping a device in your drawers, like what 44% of buyers do according to Chemical & Engineering News data, we are making something new out of it that benefits the world all together.
Hand it down
There are smartphones and tablets out there that are easier to recycle than the others. These are the gadgets that come from top mobile manufacturers and are really popular with the mobile communities. With popular devices, it’s obviously makes it easier to hand down or sell it to other users wanting to try the devices. An example is the iPhone 6, which O2 subscribers gave an overall rating of 4.4/5 stars, where 400 users gave it a rating of 5 stars. Popular handsets are difficult to let go, even with another upgraded device on the market.
This factor is something you need to look at before purchasing any smartphone or tablet next time you look to upgrade, apart from it reusable and reparable design. Consider its rate of being recycled or reused to ensure it will not contribute to the rising mountain of digital trash in the future.
Repurpose your own device
Don’t let your old cellphones sit in your drawers. Make the most out of it, especially if it’s still working. Here are some great ideas we’ve unveiled on how you can repurpose your old mobile devices at home:
• Webcam or remote camera – Why do you have to pay for expensive surveillance cameras when your old smartphone can do the trick? With the right kind of app, you can turn your old device into a remote camera for your home. Apps like Mobiola Web Cam, iWebCamera for iPhones, iCam, DroidCam, and SmartCam are the top suggested alternate webcam solutions.
• Emergency-only handset – Using an old phone outdoors can actually keep you safe. Why? No one would want to steal it away from you. We suggest turning your old cellphones into an emergency-only device. Keep all the important numbers on speed dial. It’ll also have a better battery life than today’s handsets, so you can be certain that it can stay on for weeks if left idle.
Aside from preserving our environment, there are various reasons why we should continuously practice the art of recycling or reusing old mobile devices. Read our previous post about 5 reasons why you must recycle your old smartphone for further reading.
How do you dispose your old mobile devices? Share your ideas with us in the comment section below.