This year, each of us will throw out, recycle or shove into a desk drawer an average of 16.8 pounds of old phones, laptops, toasters and other electronics and appliances, according to the UN — a whopping total of 63.3 million tons of electronic waste worldwide.
That waste can end up in massive digital dumps in the Global South, exposing children who pick out valuable metals from the trash to more than 1,000 toxic substances.
With just more than 17% of that e-waste recycled, advocates are urging producers and consumers to make sure those defunct electronics don’t end up in landfills or collecting dust in the basement. As we transition to more renewable forms of electricity and transportation, which require metals like lithium and copper, experts say it’s more important than ever that we recycle smartphones and batteries.
Written by Elizabeth Gribkoff
Read more at Children’s Health Defense