Green Mobiles Will They Catch On?
When you look at the art of communication and how it has evolved. Just look at the picture in this story, look at the amount of resources used in its design. And so it is with mobile phones. They were once 5 kgs in weight, now they just grams and do so much more. Can we really make them eco friendly smartphones? Will more environmentally friendly mobile phones ever truly catch on? Will greener smartphone manufacturing processes develop so that every mobile phone is made from recycled materials or plastic bags? Or is it just a well oiled fad in the history of mobile phone design.
I believe we are at the cusp of a new order, whereby the cost of looking for new resources from fields far away, could become so expensive that the digging for virgin raw materials for just a mobile phone could be outlawed; when the materials are so already readily available above ground. With the all round cost of cradle to grave production rising and what with the Earth beginning to look like a garden with a family of gophers let loose in it, the use of recycled materials looks a good economic and sustainable resource choice to me.
But just how feasible, would it be to produce a billion plus greener handsets from recycled plastics. Well in the UK alone we create 3 million tonnes of plastic waste a year, of which 56% is from waste packaging. Part of that amount comes the 17.5 billion plastic bags that are given away by supermarkets in the UK and as a nation we are increasing our plastic use by 4% a year! So the numbers are there.
Car manufacturers have to do it? They are legislated to look for new ways to reduce their environmental impact. So how long will it be before the manufacturers of music systems, TV’s, computers, fridges, washing machines all follow suit and start to advertise that their units are made from recycled materials? Could one imagine a future, where your guest presents their mobile phone to their friends at dinner parties proclaiming it doesn’t have recycled plastic parts - could this be a trophy phone?
At present, it’s possible that people see recycled plastic as second best, lower quality, not up to the mark, but the future of greener mobiles is the way forward. With better designs, improved network offerings, more information about sustainability is paving the way for resource survival.
Mobile Phones suffered the same derisory comments when they entered the marketplace when they first appeared when people were so used to land-phones, now Mobiles out-number their landlocked counterpart. Given time we can change to what’s best for us and the planet. Once the benefits outweigh the issues at hand, the change will be easy.
A green mobile phone is just the start, its part of the way in reducing your personal carbon footprint. Yes they are small steps towards a carbon free lifestyle, as recycling plastic makes major economic sense when you learn that it uses less energy and fewer resources. It’s all about the concept of change, when the first mobiles came out in 1983 (DynaTAC 8000x) it weighed 1.8 lbs. The latest eco phone by Sony Ericcson weighs 120 grams? So yes, like it or not greener phones by design, construction and the new moral attitude is the way forward and are certainly here to stay.