Don’t Toss That Phone! The Benefits Of Recycling Electronics For Our World And Families…

Don’t Toss That Phone! The Benefits Of Recycling Electronics For Our World And Families

It’s second nature to discard unused items. However, electronics contribute to a vast amount of the world’s waste. Humanity can curb electronic waste – e-waste – by recycling electronics. Though the resources and methods are not always widely publicized, they are available for many. Whether it’s a phone, ink cartridge, or flat-screen TV, recycling electronics provides advantages in multiple ways.

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Reducing Pollution and Environmental Impact

The most obvious benefit of recycling is the environmental benefit. A circular economy perpetuates a reduced-waste mindset.

Humans can achieve this by recycling electronics – and only 12.5% of e-waste is recycled anyway. Humans can recycle everything from screws to packaging to decrease stress on the planet. E-waste will increase as humans rely more on internet of things (IoT) connected devices.

Recycling old electronics attempts to reclaim as many original materials as possible. After collection and storage, the process starts with manually separating metallic and non-metallic parts, then proceeds with magnets and water. Each method filters out parts made of similar materials to go to their appropriate destinations for breaking down, such as cleaning and smelting.

This process can alleviate a lot of environmental damage caused by electronics, including:

  • Precious metal extraction
  • Excess packaging
  • Microplastic contamination
  • Hazardous or toxic pollutants

Another benefit of recycling electronics is that it reduces pollution – in soil, water, and air – because companies will not use energy and resources to create new products from scratch. Recycling a phone could reduce the overall impact of the phone’s entire lifecycle, including transporting parts and the energy expended by laborers’ machines to extract raw minerals.

It also stops natural habitats and inhabitants from suffering chemical dangers and degradation, such as mercury poisoning, which causes neurological damage in fish and larger animals. Further e-waste pollution could harm humans by stripping the soil of its nutrients and seeping into crops.

Making Planned Obsolescence Obsolete

Planned obsolescence is why phones operate poorly even after just a few years of regular usage. It makes humans nostalgic for older technology when machines could last a decade. This is different than absolute obsolescence. This is when tech cannot function due to hardware failure, for example. Planned obsolescence intends for electronics to be challenging to repair and thrown out in a fraction of the time they could realistically operate. Tech companies find themselves at a crossroads – advancements are incoming faster than before, so do they adjust as quickly and make more money, or do they create sturdier products that last longer at the risk of their products falling out of trend?

Humans have developed a habit of continually buying new electronics, whether that’s game systems or smart appliances. It’s commonplace for humans to upgrade their tech even if their current models work just fine.

One benefit of recycling is that it can prevent some of the damage caused by this toxic systematic thinking. Since every industry utilizes technology and could have a chance to recycle it, even the convenience and profits made from planned obsolescence may pale compared to budgets saved by streamlined operations caused by recycling electronics. Time can be saved from inappropriate disposal, freeing up employees’ time and creating more opportunities to spend energy on more productive tasks, like recycling, to make even more products and gain more profits. The materials can be repurposed into new electronics, ensuring humans create no additional waste despite continual upgrades.

Creating Equality Around the World

Some of the largest landfills of e-waste worldwide are in less-developed countries. This tendency to offload waste to the “global south” is also known as environmental racism. Recycling electronics would curb the environmental, social, and economic damage caused by frivolous waste dumping. Everything from monitors to cords may litter the countryside, influencing the development of rural communities with an ironic display of the technologies they currently can’t afford. These landfills cause disruptions to the lives of citizens, but recycling old electronics would alleviate that burden, giving them better opportunities to solidify their own financial and wellness foundations.

This waste threatens children’s health, stunting proper development and reducing their quality of life. It also harms adults in these areas who have resorted to recycling the e-waste themselves, often without access to adequate safety measures. Recycling electronics is an act of advocacy for environmental justice. It holds companies accountable for the proper handling of e-waste. It would encourage more eco-friendly measures like recycling at the corporate level, instead of avoiding tax and safety commitments enforced by governments with illegal disposal in impoverished areas.

Recycling Old Electronics

Most products – not just electronics – are destined for a linear lifecycle, where extraction of materials is the beginning and a landfill for disposal is the end. Recycling electronics makes their lifespan cyclical, supporting the circular economy humans need to promote a more sustainable future. It will reduce the amount of waste cast off worldwide and change humanity’s relationship with electronics, letting us invest more in long-term usage instead of planned obsolescence and careless disposal.


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