Most Cell Phones Still End Up In Landfills, Polluting the Environment
Yesterday, the New York Times Magazine ran a fairly comprehensive piece on the life cycle and environmental impact of mobile phones. The story detailed how many phones are reused, how many others are broken down and "mined" for useful metals such as silver and gold, and how still others – most others, in fact – end up in heaps of discarded electronics, left to leach often dangerous ingredients into the earth, water supply, kids' blood streams, etc.
The main point raised: Despite our love affair and attachment to our mobile phones, we still use, discard and then buy new ones at an alarming rate, with little regard for the environmental impact.
Such eco-carelessness isn't limited to mobile phones and e-waste is not a new issue to the consumer electronics industry. But while mobile phones are small compared to old CRT TVs and computer monitors, they are in use everywhere. In some African nations, where landlines are difficult to build and maintain, mobile phones are the only way for someone to have reliable communications.
As the reporter notes, "There is no heaven for cellphones."
From The New York Times.