Environmental Impact of Smartphones

Do you know the impact a smartphone has on the environment? Or the effect such a small device has compared to giant gas-guzzling trucks and jet airplanes?

The answer will shock you! Research carried out by McMasters University in Canada shows some truly staggering statistics:

Information and Communication Technology (ICT), which includes smartphones, laptops, desktops and data centers will contribute about 14% of all global carbon emissions by 2040. This is more than half the carbon dioxide emissions of the entire transportation sector.

Now, let’s take a look at smartphone figures. There are 2.9 billion users in the world, which is about 35% of the global population. But these 2.9 billion people have 8 billion smartphones – an average of about 2.6 units per person! These 8 billion smartphones create 125 million tons of carbon dioxide each year; which is a 730% increase over the last 5 years. 85% of these carbon emissions can be traced to the manufacturing process because these units need vast quantities of rare earth elements like gold, tungsten and cobalt; which are mined at great cost.

And here is the real kicker – less than 1% of these phones are recycled. This means that 99% of these devices will end up in bins and then in landfills where toxic battery acids and chemicals will leak out of them and into the ground.

Estimates put 10-12 million phones in circulation in the UAE and about five times that number (or 50 million units) in KSA. We tend to replace our phones every 2 years, which results in a lot of used devices. Instead of addressing this problem of old devices, a majority of these phones are stored in the back of a drawer.

But there is a silver lining. The average household has about AED 5,000 worth of unused electronic devices that can – and should be – converted back to cash. So why hold on to them? Why not just cash them in?

Unfortunately, this has not been so easy. Till now, you had only 2 options:

  • Battle traffic, find parking and troll the back streets of Deira or Satwa in Dubai or Mursalat in Riyadh and haggle with second hand dealers to get a fair price for your used phone.
  • List your device online on one of many classified sites and negotiate with people who will call at all times of the day. When you finally give in and agree to an unfair price, there is the added inconvenience of a stranger visiting your home to pay you, hopefully without further haggling.

So, given this lack of transparent pricing and inconvenience, it’s no wonder most people just dump their old phones into the bin or forget about them in storage.

Here is how NorthLadder solves the problem:

  • Pricing: Our advanced Marketplace App is used by 200+ dealers across the country who bid their highest price to buy over 2,600 different models of phones, laptops, tablets and smart watches. As soon as you select your device model and condition, you get the highest price from our dealer network – it’s like visiting 200+ stores and getting prices in only 3 seconds!
  • Convenience: All you have to do is visit one of our nearest Assessment Centers, drop off your phone and get cash in 15 minutes. We have outlets at most malls and shopping centers across Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah and very soon across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia too. You can also use our convenient @Home service and our specialists will visit your home to complete the deal and give you cash on the spot(log on to our website for more details on how to select this service).

So, if you feel responsible for the environment, remember that the small, innocuous device in your hand can make a BIG difference. Here’s what you could do:

  • Try and use your device for as long as you possibly can – preferably 3 to 4 years
  • When buying a new device or upgrading your old one, look for an option to trade-in or recycle your old device
  • Last of all, don’t TRASH it when you can easily CASH it!

This is when you should go through your drawers at home, collect all devices you no longer use and log on to NorthLadder.com – the results will surprise you!

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