Change cell phone from year to year?
Did you know that the impact that the production of a mobile phone has on the environment is equivalent to that of making a car trip of 400 kilometers? And now just multiply: more than 1.5 billion are sold every year!
The price of a cell phone can range from 100 euros for a low-end model to almost 2000 euros for the most advanced ones. According to Apple, the world's largest smartphone seller, each new iPhone has a carbon footprint of between 70 and 85 kilograms of CO2. In a world where around 1.5 billion phones are sold per year, the rate of production and consumption is becoming increasingly unsustainable. A radical change in the industry is urgent.
In average, telephones last about two and a half years in each user's hand, after which they are replaced by a newer model, often while still the old ones still work. According to the news published by the newspaper PÚBLICO, broken screens, bad batteries and social pressure are the main factors that lead consumers to change their cell phone more often than necessary.
The problem is compounded when we know that most smartphones are not recycled properly, thus contributing to the electronic waste landfills, usually in underdeveloped countries. "The main challenge is getting the devices to stay in use a little longer," summarizes Eva Gouwens, CEO of Fairphone - a brand sustainable smartphone production. By keeping the same equipment for at least five years, decreased the carbon footprint by 30% and the electronic waste produced by 50 percent. That is, if we use them twice as long, we produce half the waste..
It's all about the way the industry works, always with the aim of selling phones. For manufacturers, the best way to make money is when the consumer decides to buy a new one. So, most brands create this need, even when the current mobile phone is in good condition or could benefit from a repair.
One of the solutions to this problem is for manufacturers to start producing more repairable equipment and make the repair process easier, creating more certified stations. It is also important to encourage the manufacture of new software that older models can support, ensuring that it works well.
Buying refurbished equipment appears as another way to encourage the change of the mobile phone industry paradigm, betting on more conscious consumption with companies with sustainable values and that your electronic equipment does not cause a high carbon footprint.
Following these steps can lead to the ideal scenario of the industry: maximize the lifespan of the mobile phone and, when it comes to an end, encourage correct recycling of equipment.
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