Can you think of any person, who doesn’t own a mobile phone or never ever used one? Highly impossible! We are in a digital era, where even the toddler of 1.5 yrs knows how to operate the mobile phone(smartphone especially). Mobile phones or the tablets are a boon to humankind in one way. They help us stay connected, no matter what time of the day and which part of the globe the person is.
Mobile phones have changed the way we communicate and connect with people. Not just communication, but social gatherings and media have improved a lot since the invention of the internet. The Internet is like a power to our mobile phones, without which mobiles become just a cell to call people. With the internet, you get to know happenings worldwide and any information within seconds, be it from yester years or something about in the near future. But, how do we treat our old phones? Have we ever thought about the hazardous waste they produce? The more often we change our phone, more is the harm added. Do you discard your phone the right way? Do you spread the word of caution among others?
Old mobiles sometimes are trashed just like any other stuff, but that’s wrong! Wake up people, there are better ways of discarding your old phone rather than just throwing away. Any electronic devices for that matter need to be discarded carefully, for the chemical compositions (like barium, Cadmium, Bromine, mercury etc) they have and harmful gases they release when contacted with other resources can be extremely dangerous to humans. Do you know about ‘recycling’ of mobile phones? Or ‘reuse’? well, we shall talk about the same, stay with us.
Reusing of phones:
This is also called as ‘Recycle through Trade’. You trade your phone for the money. While there are many people who love to change their phone as a new version is launched, there is still few another category of people who love to buy a second-hand phone and use it for its purpose. When you find the latter, better hand your new, good condition phone to them, for some money. If you are not intended for money, then you may give it to charity. Selling for charity provides you with a sense of satisfaction, while for others a dream come true, a win-win situation, a happy environment.
Or you can follow few of the following options:
Trade with shopkeepers
Exchange old for new
Sell it to poor countries, so it benefits them
You may think of giving phones to organisations which connect with the army. Soldiers mostly are given such ‘recycled’ phones. Your thoughtful gesture might help in lightening up someone's life. Well, if you do not intend to follow this route, we have another option of helping you discard your phone safely, without damaging human life and nature.
Industrial Recycling process:
Manufacturing new phones require raw materials. Raw materials can be also be reused from old phones and help in saving resources. The recycling process involves 6 different steps and is explained below:
Phones are first dismantled and sorted according to different parts. Batteries are first sorted according to their composition. Printed circuit boards, chargers and other accessories, handsets, plastics and other metals. So it's sorted like this, reusing good ones for low-end phones.
Step 2: Battery recycle
Batteries are the most important part of the mobile to be careful about. They are separated based on their chemical composition. All lithium ion and nickel metal batteries are shipped to TES in Singapore, where they are processed for obtaining cobalt, lithium. Nickel Cadmium batteries are shipped to South Korea, where they are separated for nickel used in steel and Cadmium is reused for batteries.
Step 3: Circuits recycling
Circuit boards are recycled in Singapore. The precious metals like gold, silver, copper and lead are obtained in the process.
Step 4: Accessories and plastics
These are processed in TES in Singapore, where the plastics are separated from the ferrous and non-ferrous metals and reused. The copper wiring is recycled via local metal recyclers and finally sold to manufacturers.
Step 5: Case recycle
The casings are shredded and are used to produce composite products like pallets(plastics).
Step 6: packaging recycling
The packaging paper and plastic are separated accordingly and sent for local recyclers. Though they might sound pretty good, even this process involves emission of poisonous gases while shipping these batteries. If batteries fall under water, it leads to pollution and damage. So choose the best alternative and live and let live!
You can spread the information in many ways, play skits and dramas depicting the harmful effects of mobile phones not discarded properly. All lithium ion and nickel metal batteries are shipped to TES in Singapore, where they are processed for obtaining cobalt, lithium. Nickel Cadmium batteries are shipped to South Korea, where they are separated for nickel used in steel and Cadmium is reused for batteries. Media plays a huge role in reaching the information to the people, but the way we choose should be based on how far we intended to go. There are many companies who are in this process and many organisations who help in transporting things from one end to other.