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

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

Archive

SuMoTuWeThFrSa
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930     

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