Its official there are now 7 billion people on the planet. And by the end of next year there will be more mobile phones switched on than people on earth – that’s an awful lot of phones.
So whose got the most phones? Well both China and India could have more than 1 billion mobile subscriptions each in the first half of 2012. Here in Britain, one person in ten people can actually possess up to four phones, or put another way that’s 45 million adults in Britain with 71 million handsets.
Mobile phones are just like other manufactured products they contain up to a 1000 components, so they can use a fair amount of resources. Some 1.2 Billion mobiles were sold in 2009, a 5% increase on the year before.
Your mobile phone may seem singular to you, but its part of the 24 hour mining, production, design, ships criss-crossing the oceans loaded with all sorts of elements, arsenic, beryllium, cobalt, copper, iron, antimony, lead, nickel, mercury, manganese, lithium, zinc cadmium, silver and gold, it brings into sharp focus the resource challenges for a sustainable product when looking at the ubiquitous mobile phone in the 21st century.
It’s about making sure that that we take a long view on the mobile phone if we have to have them then lets maximize every stage of the mobile phones production and look at cutting the environmental cost. For example…
Did you know that up to 300 grams of gold can be recovered from approximately 1 tonne of recycled mobile phones, or put another way, for every million mobiles recycled, we can rescue 75 pounds of gold. Which when re-used saves mining 110 tonnes of gold ore.
So if you have an old mobile phone in your drawer at home or office and your not using it, recycle it and it will mean your contributing to a healthier environment.