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Information @ a Glance

  • A cell phone is made up of many materials. In general, the handset consists of 40 percentmetals, 40 percent plastics, and 20 percentceramics and trace materials.

  • Mobile phones are relatively inexpensive, and smaller every day. However, it is plastic it takes thousands of years to degrade, and toxic metals such as arsenic, antimony, Beryllium, cadmium, copper, lead, nickel and zinc, that accumulate in living organisms and can cause cancer and neurological diseases.

  • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that 130 million cell phones are discarded each year. When dismantled, their internal metal components translate into 65,000 tons of waste containing lead, cadmium, arsenic, beryllium, mercury and other toxic heavy metals and carcinogens.

  • Unlike with many other types of e-waste, cell phone recycling is profitable because many phones are refurbished and resold, while others are mined for scrap metals.

  • There is intense commercial interest in recycling of cell phones due to the fact that their average lifetime is relatively short while the materials used in their production are commercially viable.

  • Cell phones are currently one of the few electronic products, if not the only one, that also have a thriving reuse market. In fact, more handsets are reused than recycled.

  • 95% of the handsets(mobile) collected in the UK will be recycled and then sold to developing countries such as China, India, Pakistan, Dubai and Bolivia.

  • Over 90 per cent of the materials in a mobile phone can be recycled. Recycling 250,000 old mobiles plus their batteries and chargers will recover enough materials to make 48,000 aluminium cans and more than 2,400 plastic fence posts.

  • Recovery of these materials will also preclude the need to mine more than 728 tonnes of gold ore, 808 tonnes of silver ore and 178 tonnes of copper sulphide.

  • The facts are that 280 tonnes of mobile phones, batteries and accessories have been collected for recycling by the industry, saving the environment from potential damage. This equates to 1.1 millionbatteries and 435,000 handsets having been collected.

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