August 31, 2014 by Tess Riley
The World Bank estimates that approximately three-quarters of the global population now has at least one mobile phone – gadgets facilitating everything from microhealth payments in Kenya to earthquake early-warning systems in Japan… as well as the more obvious information exchange upon which our business and social lives seem to rely in the twenty-first century of course.
But frequent phone discards are a massive problem. Just search for ‘electronic waste’ in Google Images and you will be greeted by perturbing pictures of mobile phone mountains and children dismantling gadgets containing hazardous chemicals.
In this article in Green Futures Magazine this month, I write about the interactive bugs built from discarded smartphone components that have been designed to raise awareness about e-waste and encourage more people to recycle their old devices.
Ultimately, we need to drastically reduce the number of mobile phones and other electrical items people use (and discard) across their lifetime. What we do throw away, we must ensure we throw responsibly – we can’t buy a second planet after all.