Planet Ark News - Data is valuable, but so are the materials in your phone
Planet Ark News

Data is valuable, but so are the materials in your phone

Date: 06-Nov-19
Author: Liam Taylor

Inside mobile phone © Rachael Ridley

Australians have stockpiled over 25 million mobile phones – that’s one phone for every member of the population – leaving valuable materials to go to waste around the country.

What’s stopping us from recycling our phones?

Why let those materials go to waste? Research from MobileMuster suggests one of the biggest concerns when it comes to recycling or disposing of old mobile phones is the personal data that we keep on these devices.

Their findings show removing data can be too much of a hassle for many of us and, combined with a deep concern about people accessing their personal information without permission, this leads many to squirrel phones away in drawers, cupboards and boxes.  Luckily, concerns about personal data are easily addressed, meaning the valuable materials within these old phones can be recovered and recycled.

Why recycle mobile phones over storing them?

Valuable materials in mobile phones include aluminium, copper, gold, silver, cobalt and lithium, all of which require a significant amount of energy to extract and process via mining. Recycling just five million stockpiled phones would save an estimated 1,840 tonnes of CO2 emissions and conserve almost 10,000 tonnes of mineral resources.

The value in extending the life of the device by handing it down or recycling it with a responsible organisation like MobileMuster is of great benefit to the environment. The recycling process ensures that all of the materials that have gone into making the mobile phone can be used again and again.

How do we address these concerns about data?

Nearly half of Australians (46%) admit they would delete their data if they knew it was easy and quick to do so. The good news: it is quick and easy to do so!

MobileMuster has committed to help Aussies overcome their data worries by providing a number of resources explaining how to manage the data on your phone. They are cutting through the jargon and helping Australians understand how simple it is to remove data and pass on their old phones for recycling.

Watch these videos to learn how to wipe the data from your old mobile phone so you can recycle it! You can also get involved in MobileMuster’s new initiative for National Recycling Week, the Monday Muster. Get together with a few work colleagues, have a laugh checking out who has the oldest model and help us reach 5,000 mobiles recycled in the month of November.

How to manage the data on your phone (Android) from MobileMuster on Vimeo.

How to manage the data on your phone (iOS) from MobileMuster on Vimeo.


Liam                                              Taylor

Author: Liam Taylor

Liam is Planet Ark's Communications Coordinator. Prior to joining Planet Ark Liam spent his time studying global environmental issues, travelling Southeast Asia on the cheap and working for a sustainable property management company in Bali, Indonesia.
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