What impact do MacBook and Computers have on the environment?

Once your computer or MacBook has reached the end of its lifespan, the best thing you can do for the environment is to recycle it. 

It's estimated that the average computer is replaced every 3-5 years, so it's easy to see how this waste can pile up! This is why it's so important to recycle responsibly. 

Electrical goods are the fastest growing waste stream in the UK. In 2021, around 57.4 million tonnes of e-waste was expected to be discarded worldwide, which would technically outweigh the Great Wall of China.

The good news is that 93% of the elements in a computer can be recycled… But if a computer isn't recycled properly, toxic substances can end up in the air, land, and water.

The average computer's environmental effect

To build just one computer, 24kg of fuel, 22 kg of chemicals, and 1500 litres of water are needed. Imagine these numbers on a much larger scale; the demand for resources is outnumbering how much the earth can actually produce. 

These are toxins present in the average computer:  

  • Mercury 0.1%
  • Lead 10%
  • Arsenic 0.02%
  • Barium 0.04%
  • Beryllium 0.02%
  • Cadmium 0.1%
  • PVC 23% 
  • Hexavalent Chromium 0.1% 

Computers are made up of hundreds of different types of heavy metals and if they aren't managed properly, they can cause a range of health issues for humans and animals as well as contribute to global warming. 

Mercury – Even though there's only 0.1% found in the circuit boards of computers, it can cause skin diseases and brain damage if not disposed of properly.

Lead – This is the most dangerous of all the components in a computer because it makes up around 10% of the average computer build. Lead can be found in the monitor glass and the circuit board solder – lead poisoning can be caused by fume emissions and cause serious damage to health.

If e-waste is burnt, harmful toxins are released into the atmosphere and can cause ill health as well as being a direct contributor to global warming.  The majority of large landfill sites are present in developing countries, and if e-waste isn't controlled properly, populations can be exposed to fatal diseases.  

These countries also extract rare metals such as silver, copper, and gold from e-waste; to do this, they often burn it, which releases harmful chemicals into the atmosphere.

The benefit of computers on the environment if they're disposed of correctly

Recycling computers has many benefits. One of them is saving valuable metals. When we throw away a computer, the metals are wasted. But if you recycle your old computer or MacBook, these metals can be reused. 

If we recycle our computers, then more landfill space will be saved. This means less environmental damage and more tech being reused. By recycling your computer, you can help reduce e-waste and the space consumed by landfill sites. 

We are starting to see a difference from big companies such as Apple, changing the way they use materials for their products. From Apple's 2021 environmental progress report, 40% of all material in MacBook Air with retina display comes from recycled sources.

Where can I recycle my used MacBook?

Whether you're upgrading, having a declutter or want to make some extra cash, musicMagpie is here to help you recycle your old MacBook.

We'll recycle your device, put it through our extensive refurbishment process and then resell it. Recycling your used MacBook helps reduce e-waste and save rare materials – it's smart for you, smart for the planet.

Simply tell us the model of MacBook you want to sell and we'll give you an instant price! You'll even get paid the same day we receive your device, thanks to our Fast Same Day Payments.

What are you waiting for? Sell your old MacBook today! Alternatively, if you are looking to upgrade to a MacBook, switch to refurbished! You'll get the same features for less and save cash. We sell cheap iPhone models such as cheap iPhone 11 Pro Max,  refurbished iPhone 12 and refurbished iPhone 13 models as well as other used iPhone and Apple devices like our amazingly pirced refurbished iPad and MacBook models! 

Wondering "where can I sell my phone for quick cash?" Look no further than musicMagpie! You can sell iPhone, Samsung and Google Pixel phones with us, plus a whole range of other tech items, and get paid instantly for them.