In Brief

As Heine explains, even though what he sells will probably be thrown out eventually, if a phone gets three or four more lives, “it’s absolutely better for the environment than having to make three or four more phones — phones that wouldn’t be recycled, either.” ...It is an image in our heads — not of a place where we can send a used phone but one where we imagine each device when it’s brand-new, right before we first get our hands on it.

In the New York Times magazine Jon Mooallem details thorough investigation of electronic waste caused by the mobile phone industry – a rather timely unintentional follow-up to the debate we sparked last week when we criticised the CES show.

The article looks at the journey of the unwanted mobile phone into landfills or into a more complicated reselling and recycling journey. The article suggests that although recycling is a rather poisonous affair that impacts countries far away from the original purchaser, the alternative (landfill and creating new phones from new resources) can’t be continued for much longer.

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