Your old smartphones: Far more precious than you might think

Tech Blog
IT Support
October 18, 2022
a collection of old smartphones in pink duotone

How precious is that old mobile phone still sitting in the back of your drawer since 2017?

From an environmental perspective, a lot more than you might think.

According to the international waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) forum, globally, 5.3 billion mobile phones will not be recycled this year. 

And a key reason is concern about where the data on these devices might end up. Another reason is a simple lack of awareness of the environmental impact.

What is WEEE recycling and why is it important.

The WEEE's estimate is based on global business and trade data and highlights the growing environmental problem of "e-waste".

The One Point Foundation has a core objective dedicated to environmental concerns

This growing environmental problem is due to the increasing number of old phones that people keep, rather than recycling them. This means precious minerals not extracted from waste electronics have to be mined.

The Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Forum is a membership-based, not-for-profit organisation that brings together global manufacturers, retailers, consumers, recyclers and regulators to promote sustainable management of waste electrical and electronic equipment.

The WEEE says that its research shows the "mountain" of electrical and electronic waste will grow to 74 million tonnes a year by 2030.

Just over 17% of the world's e-waste is properly recycled - but the United Nations International Telecommunication Union has set a target to raise that to 30% by next year.

Earlier this year, the Royal Society of Chemistry launched a campaign promoting the mining of e-waste to produce new products, highlighting global conflict, including the war in Ukraine, threatens precious-metal supply chains.

Magdalena Charytanowicz, of the WEEE, said: "These devices offer many important resources that can be used in the production of new electronic devices or other equipment, such as wind turbines, electric car batteries or solar panels - all crucial for the green, digital transition to low-carbon societies."

Environmental issues such as electronic waste matter a great deal to us at The One Point. As a Managed Technology company dealing with all sorts of hardware and data, we make it our mission to recycle and dispose of these items in the most efficient and correct manner and to the standards set out by WEEE.

Correct recycling also ensures data on these devices does not reach the wrong hands.

The One Point Data Destruction services:

  • Secure data destruction, performed by highly trained staff
  • Satellite tracked vehicles for collections
  • Destruction performed within our authorised storage facility
  • Data Destruction certificate provided upon completion
  • 100% recycling of media after all sensitive data is destroyed

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