Experts expect roughly 5.3 billion mobile / smartphones will drop out of use this year. Stacked flat atop one another at an average depth of 9 mm that many disused phones would rise roughly 50,000 km – 120 times higher than the International Space Station; one-eighth of the way to the moon.
And, despite their valuable gold, copper, silver, palladium and other recyclable components, experts expect a majority will disappear into drawers, closets, cupboards or garages, or be tossed into waste bins bound for landfills or incineration.
And, surprisingly, mobile phones rank 4th among small EEE products most often hoarded by consumers.
Hoarding of the many types of small, unused, dead or broken plug-in and battery-operated products is the focus of this year’s 5th annual International E-Waste Day.
Organizers today released the results of surveys conducted to reveal why so many households and businesses fail to bring Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) in for repair or recycling.
The surveys were conducted from June to September, 2022 by the members of the WEEE Forum and the results were consolidated by the UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) Sustainable Cycles (SCYCLE) Programme.
The surveys show that, of 8,775 European households in six countries representing the diversity of the European Union – Portugal, Netherlands, Italy, Romania and Slovenia, and separate UK survey, the average household contains 74 e-products such as phones, tablets, laptops, electric tools, hair dryers, toasters and other appliances (excluding lamps).