By 2020 it’s estimated there will be almost 3.6 billion smartphones in circulation around the world – that’s the equivalent of almost half the global population with a smartphone! With an average lifespan of approximately 2 years before upgrade or replacement, the demand for the resources used to produce mobile devices and the number of devices potentially entering the waste stream will only continue to grow. However, 99% of materials can be recovered when mobile devices are recycled.
Why is this important to us? Mobile phones contain minerals such as gold, cobalt, tungsten and coltan. Some of these materials are mined from the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, in an area near the Congo Basin, a key natural habitat for chimpanzees. Mining and control over this area drives illegal bushmeat hunting, destroys crucial great ape habitats, and has triggered civil conflict and unrest.
On December 15th, 2019 citizens from around the globe can participate in The Forest is Calling by pledging to either recycle their unwanted mobile devices with a local recycling facility,or to extend the life of their device by keeping it for longer. With one simple action, JGI’s friends and supporters are helping protect chimpanzees and their habitat. Find out where you can recycle your cellphone in Canada, here!