Mobile phones have several aspects that affect the environment and people. In the text below we present our tips and facts on how to use mobile phones more sustainably.
- A mobile phone contains up to 30 different metals that are often mined in Africa and Asia under conditions that violate human rights. The extraction process leads to a number of environmental and health problems. The impact of the metals on the user of the finished product is still understudied.
- Mobile phones are often manufactured in developing countries. For example in 2008 China accounted for half of the world’s mobile production. There are many administrative defects in the factories, such as low wages, drastic overtime work, lack of protective equipment and violations of trade union rights. Read more about the environmental, health and social aspects of electronics during their lifetime here.
- In addition, the manufacturing process of a mobile phone generates up to 86 kg of waste, in the form of mining waste and other types of waste.
Tips for a conscious consumption of mobile phones
- To limit the power consumption of your phone: shut down apps that are not used, use power save mode and adjust the screen brightness. It is also recommended to charge the battery often.
- Avoid buying a new cell phone until your old one no longer works. If you are offered a new phone when you extend your contract even though the old one still works, ask if you can get a lower cost on other services instead.
- If you need to change your phone, look for a used phone in stores or websites that specialize in selling used electronics.
- The range of mobile phones that are manufactured with environmental, health and social aspects in mind is small but they exist, for example Fairphone. Use your consumer power and ask for nicer alternatives in the store!
- Return your used mobile phone for recycling, either at the municipality’s recycling center or at the nearest outlet.
- At Pantaluren, you can recycle your mobile phone in an environmentally friendly way.
- In case you decide to buy new, our labeling guide can be helpful for finding more sustainable alternatives.