Knowledgebase

Hidden costs of mobile phones

EMR Australia - Thursday, August 13, 2015

It might be newer, more stylish, more popular—but would you buy it if it cost the earth?

Consumers’ desire to have the latest mobile phones on the market is good news for manufacturers but not such good news for the environment, according to a new study from the United Kingdom. In a paper published in June, Dr James Suckling and Dr Jacquinta Lee, from the University of Surrey, found that our compulsive use of mobile phones has many hidden costs.

Suckling and Lee say that the millions of discarded mobile phones lying, forgotten, in drawers and cupboards, contain millions of dollars of valuable metals including copper, silver, gold and platinum metals. The 85 million stockpiled mobile phones in the United Kingdom, for example, are estimated to contain about $170 million of gold alone. Instead of reusing these resources, we’re mining new deposits instead.

Churning out new mobile phones to replace the old ones is also contributing to global warming. ‘The averaged total GHG [Greenhouse Gas] emission of the smartphones is 47.5 kg CO2’, the authors say.

With few incentives for recycling, consumers’ mobile phones often end up in landfill where the metals and toxic substances they contain leach into the environment.

The solution, the authors say, is to encourage companies to insert a ‘take-back’ clause in their contracts so that the phones can be responsibly recycled. They also encourage the use of cloud-based storage of information to reduce the resources used in phones’ memory storage. James Suckling and Jacquetta Lee, ‘Redefining scope: the true environmental impact of smartphones?’, The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, DOI: 10.1007/s11367-015-0909-4, 2015.


About The Author - Lyn McLean is a consumer advocate, author and educator and has been monitoring and writing on the subject of electromagnetic radiation (EMR) for over 20 years. She is the director of EMR Australia.


Follow on Feedly follow us in feedly


Trackback Link
http://www.emraustralia.com.au/BlogRetrieve.aspx?BlogID=419&PostID=620455&A=Trackback
Trackbacks
Post has no trackbacks.

Recent Posts

Categories

Tags

Kaspersky Lab Dr David Carpenter Dr James Suckling Michael Dolan Professor Belpomme Dr William Rea Dr Cornelia Waldmann-Selsam Catalyst Dr Christopher Portier Essex University Study Dr Asad Rahmani Dr Stephanie McCarter (MD) Dr Lisa Nagy Dr Hugh Taylor Dr Markus Kern John Cherry Prof Andrew Marino Stewart Committee Reports Dr Louis Slesin John Patterson Dr Jean Monroe Dr Martin Pall Dr Linda Erdreich Dr Igor Belyaev SCENIHR Report Professor Hugo Lagercrantz Dr Dieudonné Dr. Henry Lai Grant Brecht Dr Ron Overberg SAM Model Ohio State University Professor Michael Berk Dr Priyanka Bandara Dr Devra Davis Dr Ronald Powell Salzburg Resolution Dr De-Kun Li Dr Olga Naidenko Dr Siegal Sadetzki Associate Professor Ray Kearney OAM Dr Larry Marshall Venice Resolution Dr John Dockerty Lennart Hardell US Senate Hearing Dr Cyril Smith Professor Rodney Croft Frank Drews Dennis J Kucinich Dr S Mortazavi Dr Fernando Saravi Dr Kenneth Foster Dr Arpad Szallasi (MD) Anne Silk A. Garcia Prof Olle Johansson Mona Nilsson ARPANSA RF Standard Dr Magda Havas Dr, Louis, Slesin Dr Maryanne Demasi Dr Mary Redmayne Professor Bruce Armstrong Dr Michael Kundi Professor Martin Pall Ken Karipidis Dr Lennart Hardell Dr Don Masich Specific Absorption Rate (SARs) Dr Jacquinta Lee David Suzuki Prof Trevor Marshall Dr Gilbert de Paula (MD) Dr Christine Aschermann Mr Gary Melik Professor Anthony Miller Sydney Council Phone Tower Forum Paul Wentworth Frank Clegg Dr Stephen Solomon Vijayalaxmi and Maria Scarfi T Abelin Dr James Oschman Dr Lawrence Anukam WHO Dr Dariuz Leszczynski Alasdair Phillips IAFF Cindy Sage Jim Phillips Dr Dominique Belpomme Michael Carlberg Dr. Masayuki Tatemichi E Lopez-Martin Dr. Neil Cherry Brett Moule

Archive

SuMoTuWeThFrSa
  12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  

EMR Australia © 2017. All Rights Reserved. Terms & Conditions | Privacy | Sitemap | Adobe Business Catalyst Sydney