Thursday, December 28, 2006


The mobile phone, one more enemy for Earth


The mobile phone, one more enemy for EarthIn our mind, the mobile phone's not associated yet with the environmental, social or economic problems that it leads to. However, some figures are scary: nearly 30 kg of raw materials are necessary to manufacturate a device of about 100 grams! And in the world, one estimates that a billion devices are living!

In Belgium (and that must be about the same thing in the neighbor countries), the average lifetime of a mobile phone is around 18 months. Briefly, a belgian mobile is abolished every 10 seconds! In one year, that represents 3 million devices. Among them, only 2% will be recycled.

The WWF's belgian website mentions other unimaginables consequences: wars for the precious substances in Congo, forced child work and doubtful working conditions, poaching, deforestation, resources' exploitation and destruction, accumulation of waste. The website also claims health risks for the people in contact with the raw materials and of course, there are problems with the transport: 5 to 6% of the mobile's ecological footprint are allotted to the transport.

Conclusion: at the end of your mobile's lifetime, the WWF advises to not simply give it up in a drawer, nor to throw it away, but rather to give it to a friend or a company of social economy. You can also exchange it while you purchase the new one, with the guarantee that it will be reconditioned for one second life. If it can be used never, abandon it in a park of selective collection or to a distributor that collect old mobile phones for free.



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