How Smartphones Affect the Environment
Our planet can’t cope with the existing humanity’s consumption scale. We buy and throw away things without any concerns about the environmental impact which our choices have.
Smartphones have entered the world’s market only a decade ago but have already left a permanent mark on the Earth’s surface. Nearly seven billion smartphones were produced during the past decade. It’s more than one for each living human being.
But only a small part of them is in use. First smartphones had shocked society with new opportunities for communication and browsing the Worldwide Web but let’s think about how many smartphones each of us had changed in recent years.
First smartphones were perceived as something amazing and extraordinary and now people change one smartphone for another just to buy another new or better-branded model.
Smartphones are sophisticated and high-tech devices and their production requires a lot of rare and complex materials. We need to look closer at their production process to know how our use of this incredible invention tragically transforms our environment for the worse.
Varied precious metals and ores are mined to be processed into compounds for smartphones’ production. Compounds’ processing emits vast amounts of toxic chemicals and gases which poison factory workers and the environment.
Only a fifth part of all smartphones is recycled while the rest are being dumped into nature
High-tech parts and other construction particles go through numerous production stages to be assembled into a smartphone. Three million metric tons of discarded smartphones and related waste enters the environment annually which causes complex environmental problems. The production of one smartphone leaves almost ninety kilos of waste according to a new study taken by the Swedish Environment Institute.
The majority of smartphone models are designed to serve only a small period of time with no availability to repair or recycle them. Corporations use this strategy to make people buy more and more of their production.
Of course, new models and smartphone generations allow us to use more of their specific functions but we need to find the balance between environmental safety and our personal needs.
Every smartphone can serve for at least a decade but the current consumption trends force people to change their old phones and devices for new ones.
Smartphones are always sold in unrecyclable plastic packaging with plenty of unnecessary plastic forms and particles. The smartphone industry should be considered as a catastrophic event considering the scale of our consumption and the environmental harm which this market niche causes shouldn’t be underestimated.
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