A deposit system for smartphones and similar devices could be a long-term solution for old devices to be returned and disposed of properly.
To produce less waste, people sometimes need a push in the right direction. Be it the plastic shopping bag or the disposable bottle, the first changes have already taken place in these areas in recent years. However, you also have to think big. People buy new electronics regularly, but what about old ones? At some point the day will come when a smartphone is ready to be thrown away. A deposit system could be introduced for proper handling.
Correct disposal, metal recovery
According to Die Grünen, a € 25 deposit on smartphones and tablets should create more incentives to return old devices. It is about the recovery of metals and substances that are integrated into a smartphone. As well as elimination. Gold, silver, copper and many other raw materials are stored with the owners in closets and basements and elsewhere. There are around 124 million old unused devices in German homes.
“Proper disposal, complete collection, and high-quality return, reuse, repair and recycling in a consumer-friendly manner are vitally important to harnessing the enormous raw material potential of electrical and electronic equipment and easing the environment.” .
Initially, there are only applications for such a repository system, but in the long run, this could be the right way to go. Additionally, dealers should be required to recall old devices. None of these proposals and ideas is set in stone. Although these points seem realistic, other proposals are not very feasible. Namely, manufacturers were also asked to force themselves to build smartphones for DIY home repair more easily.
Shift shows how it’s done
A sustainable smartphone maker with a warehouse system is already getting started. Shift returns their customers the € 22 deposit when they return their old devices. This is to ensure proper disposal and parts of old devices can be reused.