Having a mobile phone has become a priority in today’s world. But what do we do with the old phone? Sometimes we dispose of them off in the trash. As a result, electronic waste is the fastest growing waste stream in the world. Electronics are being dumped at record rates in landfills all over the world. For that reason, they pose a threat to the environment and animals’ survival.
An environmentally friendly way of disposing of your E-waste is recycling them. Why is it important? It helps to preserve the environment in far-reaching ways. By recycling electronics, we save hundreds of endangered animals. Did you know every year’s colossal number of Gorillas are killed because of electronic manufacturing?
Gorilla habitats contain Coltan- a metallic ore used in phone manufacturing. Coltan mining is associated with the destruction of rainforests which are natural habitats of gorillas.
To extract Coltan from the ground requires clearing vegetation, cutting trees and excavating the ground in search of potential mining sites. These activities put rainforests in danger. For instance, Congo Basin rainforest is the most endangered ecosystem in the world. Miners kill gorillas accelerate land clearance and also for meat. It is no wonder that the population of these majestic animals is down by 80percent.
The number of gorillas has been reducing in countries that have massive coltan deposits such as Brazil, Rwanda, and DRC. As a result, mountain gorillas and other species are now endangered.
The search and acquisition of minerals and metals used in electronics production lead to the destruction of gorillas habitats. The number of gorillas is now less than 4000. They are listed as critically endangered. Experts argue that if the metals used in the manufacturing of electronic metals such as gold and Coltan are recycled the incentive to mine minerals in gorilla habitat would decrease significantly. When we recycle smartphones, we help to recover items that can help save endangered gorillas. Consequently, we help the gorillas live longer at their proper habitat.
How will that single action help? I know that is what you are wondering, right? Think about it this way. An average consumer will change their phone every year or after two years. The annual sales of computers and phones account for 4% of silver and gold. Increase gold content in the phone means more destruction of natural habitat for animals like gorillas. So, if five people recycle their phones in 5 years, we can save one gorilla. Similarly, recycling 300-40 mobile phones could help recover a gram of gold.
What We Can Do
Let face it. Everyone has a part to play to save these endangered animals. When you recycle your mobile phone, you join a band of great people whose desire is to make the world a better place.
The good news is that several measures aimed at boosting this culture of e-waste recycling have been put in place. For instance, World Gorilla day has been set aside to highlight the significance of recycling old phones and other electronics properly. It will help people appreciate the relationship between recycling electronic waste and saving gorillas. In addition, we now have recycling firms such as Great Lakes Electronic Corporation.
It is essential that we take part in raising awareness of the importance of recycling anything electronic. This practice plays a vital part in protecting the future. The important point is that it can significantly impact the natural world and help the environment conservation.
Recycling In Australia
Australia has been in the forefront promoting recycling to E-waste to save gorillas of Congo forest which are on the verge of extinction. There are efforts to push for a ban on dumping Ewaste on landfills.
In Australia there designated drop off points and retail collection for old smartphones, chargers, batteries. About 4000 councils and a host of telecom service providers support this initiative. There are over 3500 public drops off points, including Vodafone stores and Battery world outlets.
From 1st July 2019, the Victorian government made it illegal to dumped waste in landfills. Moreover, the government has invested heavily in building and expanding current recycling facilities. This will ensure all electronics including phone, computer and TV can be recycled. The good news is that the big names in the mobile manufacturing industry such as iPhone and Samsung, support the mobile recycling program.
According to Mobile Muster, the number of unwanted mobile phones in Australian homes is over 23 million. You can also support organization such as Zoos Victoria by collecting unwanted electronic and deliver them to a recycler. The organization runs community conservation and environmental education campaigns to fight threats imposed on wildlife by humans.
Used electronics also contain harmful substances that, if not well disposed of can contaminate groundwater and soil. Similarly, when toxic substances like mercury seep into the ground, it affects the surrounding wildlife. Another thing, recycling e-waste can create more employment in the recycling industry.
We can save the remaining population of Gorilla by reducing demand for the mined resources. To achieve this goal, people must promote awareness of the dangers regarding growing e-waste to habitats of endangered species. Also, it is prudent that we support investment in recycling. The bottom line is that recycling is the most effective and proven method of preventing e-waste from destroying the environment.