Many components of mobile phones are considered toxic like arsenic, lithium, cadmium, copper, lead, mercury and zinc. These poisonous substances may leach from decomposing waste in landfills, seep into groundwater and contaminate the soil. Metals build up in the soil, can then enter the food chain and in sufficient concentrations may cause health problems.
But not just the dumping of mobile phones is dangerous for the environment. The production of new mobile phones contributes to climate change by using up energy and virgin materials which release greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere. It is estimated that up to 90% of these greenhouse gases can be saved by recycling materials from mobile phones.
Keeping the toxic elements of mobile phones out of the environment is easy. Follow the three environmental principals of
Reduse: Be a smart consumer and think twice before you upgrade your mobile phone. Maybe your old phone still does the job and you can save the money for a new one?
Reuse: Many people are looking for simple phones, so when you upgrade see if you know someone who might be happy using your old phone.
Recycle: When your phone has come to the end of its life donate it to Clean Up Australia for recycling via our Campaign Clean Up Mobile Phones. It is easy and free with our collection stachels.