E-waste: Five billion phones to be thrown away in 2022

Image credit: BBC

5.3 billion mobile phones will be thrown out this year, according to the International Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Forum.

Based on data on global trade, the estimate emphasises the growing environmental problem of “e-waste.”

According to the research, many people choose to keep their old phones rather than recycle them.

Copper and cobalt are priceless minerals that must be mined in order to be used in rechargeable batteries and wire, respectively.

People “tend to not realise that all these seemingly insignificant objects have a lot of value and, when combined at a global level, represent vast volumes,” according to WEEE director general Pascal Leroy.

There are allegedly 16 billion mobile phones in use worldwide, but only around a third of them are still in use in Europe.

According to figures from the WEEE, the “mountain” of electrical and electronic waste, which includes everything from toasters and washing machines to tablet computers and global positioning system (GPS) gadgets, will reach 74 million tonnes yearly by 2030.

Early this year, the Royal Society of Chemistry launched a campaign in support of mining e-waste to make new products, highlighting how global instability, like the situation in Ukraine, endangers supply chains for precious metals.

The International Telecommunication Union of the United Nations has set a goal to raise it to 30% by the end of the year, even though only slightly more than 17% of the world’s e-waste is currently properly recycled.

According to surveys by the organisation Material Focus, there are already more than 20 million pieces of functional but unused electronic equipment stocked up in UK homes, with a potential value of £5.63 billion, according to surveys by Material Focus.

According to estimates, a typical UK household could possibly make around £200 by selling any unneeded electronics.

The organization’s online campaign provides guidance, including information on where to locate recycling facilities.

Leroy asserted that much more might be accomplished.

He claimed that “collection boxes at supermarkets, pick-up of minor broken appliances upon delivery of new ones, and offering PO [post office] boxes for returning little e-waste are just some of the measures performed” in order to promote the return of these devices.

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