Think wisely: How many old mobiles do you have scattered around the drawers in your house? Surely you have not counted them, but we are sure that, in these times, you will have no less than five. And what do you do with them? Well, nothing. Like the vast majority of mortals, we continue to store them there, as if we were going to light them again one day. Some even inside their corresponding boxes, with the original packaging and their chargers.
You may have recently heard of mobile phone recycling. And it is not an invention, no. Did you know that more than 90% of the components of a device can be used? There are different components, such as cameras and flash (with cold and warm LEDs), microchips such as the processor or RAM, the antenna, the battery, the modem and the different connections that can be recycled.
Today we give you five reasons why you should find a way to collect all your old phones (and those of your family and friends) to recycle them as soon as possible. Ready to get down to business? Well, let’s go there!
1. You stop fueling the war for coltan
By now you probably already know what coltan is and the conflicts it causes. But in case you are not up to date on this whole issue, we are going to tell you what exactly happens. Coltan is very rare material. A rock that is basically made up of two minerals called columbite and tantalite. Almost all brands use it to make their phones. And each year more than 1.5 billion smartphones are sold worldwide.
One of the main producers of coltan is the Democratic Republic of the Congo. They have baptized it as black gold because, it is precisely thanks to the tantalum that our phones are so fine. Be that as it may, the conditions of exploitation of the coltan mines in these countries are a real nonsense. These are often controlled by armed groups that practice the exploitation of people. Thus, wars, socio-political conflicts and child exploitation are included in the equation, which deserves a separate mention.
Recycling the mobiles that no longer serve us is to stop the need to extract this mineral and, therefore, not to continue contributing to the violation of human rights in countries like the Congo.
2. Fights against child exploitation
NGOs working in the field say that the eastern regions of the Democratic Republic of the Congo are where the most children are working. Specifically in the North Kivu and Katanga farms. In fact, about 40% of the people who work there are under the age of 18. They also do it in subhuman conditions, unsuitable for any individual, but much more so for people in full development and growth. In addition to withstanding high temperatures, they are subject to red dust clouds, since they must dig in tunnels 200 to 300 meters deep. What receive change? Not more than two euros a day.
3. You contribute to the sustainability of the ecosystem
The practice of intensive and indiscriminate mining causes serious damage to the ecosystem and, consequently, to the species that live in forests and jungles. Deforestation and the loss of primary forests leads, in addition to the disappearance of a large number of plant species (which are the lungs of our planet), the murder of countless species. Animals that, like primates, have their homes and livelihoods destroyed.
4. Struggles for the preservation of endangered species
It has happened and continues to happen because, unfortunately, there are still manufacturers who use coltan and obtain it through illegal mines. For example, in the mountains of the Kakuzi Biega National Park, the place where no less than 80% of the world’s coltan is mined, hundreds and hundreds of gorillas have lost their lives. What has caused that this great primate is, right now, in danger of extinction.
5. Aid to raise funds for non-profit entities
By recycling our mobiles we have the opportunity to reduce the demand for coltan and therefore, we contribute our grain of sand so that we are closer to ending this war. At the same time, we can help raise funds for non-profit organizations that are fighting here in our country and in the African territories most affected by the coltan war. So for example the Jane Goodall Institute, which works in the Congo, Senegal and Guinea for the conservation and protection of chimpanzees, is launching the Mobilize Yourself campaign to recycle mobile phones and raise funds. Mona Foundation It also offers different options for mobile recycling, dedicated to the well-being and conservation of primates. If you wish, there are also cooperation campaigns with Intermon Oxfam and through Ecolec.