5 billion mobile phones end up in landfills every year

Environmental scientists have concluded that 5.3 billion used mobile phones will end up in landfills around the world this year, most of which will not be destroyed.

The total volume of “electronic waste” will be 24.5 million tons. This was reported by the press service of the International Orientation Forum WEEE. Forum coordinator Magdalena Haritanovich said: “These devices can become a valuable resource for the production of other electronic devices, which is important for the transition to a green economy.

She explained that the so-called “electronic waste” consists of components of household appliances and equipment that were thrown into landfills after they became obsolete. These wastes often contain large amounts of gold and other valuable materials such as lithium and cobalt, which are very limited on Earth.

UN experts recently conducted a comprehensive analysis of the growth rate of these wastes in the countries of the post-Soviet space. Their calculations showed that the amount of e-waste has increased by 50% over the past 10 years, knowing that only 3.2% of this waste is disposed of properly. This behavior increases the burden on the world’s environment and economy.

WEEE scientists recently conducted the first detailed study of the share of “e-waste” in small devices such as smartphones or other devices that are easy to recycle compared to other electronic devices and often fail or are replaced when they become old.

According to researchers, mobile phones and other small devices make up a large proportion of e-waste, about 8% of their total mass. The total mass of this waste this year will be about 24.5 million tons, which is 4 times the mass of Khufu’s pyramid.

About 600,000 tons of this waste comes from laptops, tablets and other expensive devices whose boards, circuits and batteries contain a lot of gold, silver and lithium.

Environmentalists said that the proper processing of all this garbage will replenish the world’s reserves of gold, lithium and many other precious metals by 5-7%, and will also protect nature from the accumulation of toxic cobalt compounds and many of the carcinogenic organic substances used. in the manufacture of devices.

Source: TASS