The impact of e-waste on the planet

We've written about what e-waste is and the importance of a circular economy to combat it. But by truly understanding the impact it has on the environment, we can begin to make more informed choices.

E-waste is produced from a variety of different electrical items such as phones, laptops, monitors, TVs, printers, tablets, and much more. What's interesting is a lot of these tossed out items can be harnessed for their unused metals and repurposed into other devices to give them a new lease of life. Unfortunately, a lot of e-waste is used in landfills and is continuously causing devastating effects on the environment such as rising CO2 levels and unclean drinking water (to name a few).

So how is e-waste impacting the environment, animals, and humans?

E-waste can cause health problems

Most electronic devices are made up of common components such as lead, nickel, barium, various flame retardants and zinc to name a few. As most of us know, lead is especially toxic to animals and humans. It can harm the production of blood cells, impair calcium absorption and could even lead to brain and kidney damage.

E-waste impacts groundwater

The planetary ecosystem as we know it can be negatively impacted when e-waste is involved, especially when it comes to groundwater. As we know, it's become bad practice for people and businesses to dispose of e-waste improperly. In turn, the carcinogenic effects of toxic elements affects the groundwater animals drink from to survive.

This has led to serious concerns over the general health of animals and the potential extinction of some species if the e-waste problem isn't resolved in a sustainable way.

E-waste and biomagnification

At the rate people are currently tossing their old phones and tech in their general waste bins, more and more of it will end up in landfills.

Over time, as we've explained previously, the harmful chemicals end up in soil and wastewater. These toxins naturally migrate in streams, rivers, and other natural processes such as rain. 

When we consume vegetables that have soaked up these toxic chemicals, we begin to build them (or "bioaccumulate") up in our system. It's this process that leads to long-term physical conditions.

E-waste is bad for soil

It takes hundreds, if not thousands, of years for e-waste to break down and over time, this releases toxic chemicals into the soil it surrounds itself in. This means plants absorb the toxic substances as they grow and make their way into our food chain, leading to the multitude of health problems we mentioned previously.

E-waste impacts the air we breathe

It's unfortunately still common practice for landfills to burn e-waste. This unethical process causes more carbon-based compounds to be released into the atmosphere which pollutes the oxygen we need to survive.

Plus, with the further release of carbon monoxide from e-waste, scientists and environmentalists believe this adds to the global warming crisis.

E-waste still isn't being recycled properly

In the UK, a typical adult will spend around £40,000 on tech during their lifetime – usually on items such as phones, games consoles, laptops, cameras, and the batteries and chargers to accompany them. Out of the thousands surveyed, only 44% have recycled electronics – and that's just looking at individuals.

How to reduce e-waste

Combatting e-waste is far easier than you might think. In fact, here are just some of a few ways you can reduce your own e-waste and make a difference.

Store your data digitally

Instead of buying flash disks or external hard drives – why not backup your data online through a cloud storage system? Most are free (or cost very little to upgrade).

Buy refurbished phones and tech

If you're in the market for a new Phone, iPad or another kind of tech – have you considered buying a refurbished model instead?  Buying a refurbished phone is a guilt-free way of investing in something "new", but is actually refurbished to a high standard so it feels like a brand new device.

Buying refurbished electronics means you're participating in the circular economy and not contributing to the demand and materials needed to mine and create a brand new product. Refurbished tech is the way forward!

Recycle old phones and electronics

Got lots of tech lying around? Not only could you be sitting on a gold mine, but you might have lots of precious materials that could be repurposed for other tech items! Selling old electronics means you get a bit of cash and do good for the environment. 

If this reason alone isn't enough to get you helping the e-waste landscape, we don't know what is! Sell old stuff with musicMagpie and get a fantastic price for them!

Try to consume less

Simply consuming less, not just electronics, will positively impact your carbon footprint. Really ask yourself if you need to buy the latest tablet or phone, or if you definitely need that new feature on the latest iPhone.

More often than not, being conscious and asking yourself these questions will help you make fewer unnecessary purchases, saving money and the planet!

Want to save money and do your part in helping the environment? Try buying a cheap iPhone to lower your monthly bills and reduce e-waste. You can also buy other tech with us too like refurbished iPad and MacBook models! 

Looking for a used iPhone for sale? We have plenty of models to choose from, including cheap iPhone 11 Pro Max,  refurbished iPhone 12 and refurbished iPhone 13 models. You can recycle tech devices for cash with us too. It's smart for you… smart for the planet!

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.