Smartphone & tablet repair will save the world
The article title might sound like big words intended to catch the eye, but they are actually true. Repairing gadgets will not save the entire world per se, but it can surely save the land area equaling several countries.
Each smartphone, tablet, laptop, or any other modern electronic gadget contains more than half of elements of the periodic table.
Now consider for a moment the following: are there gadgets you do not use that are still stacked in your bedside tables waiting to be trashed? How many of these do you have? I believe everyone can find a couple of such items, and together they make a legion.
Why do we shelve our old devices?
There are several answers to this question:
- The device has broken down.
- The device doesn’t cope with the tasks.
- The device has gone out of fashion.
What do we do when something goes out of order? Right! We are trying to fix it, and if it doesn’t work out or if repairing comes to a pretty penny, then we rush for a new gadget without a moment’s hesitation.
On top of everything, statistics show that most consumers now choose budget Chinese smartphones, which are basically not recyclable.
As to reasons 2 and 3, people usually opt for new (and expensive) models. They just give older smartphones away or sell them to less demanding customers. It is not bad after all, since the device won’t go to trash straightaway and won’t end up at the global cemetery of electronic gadgets. That’s good news!
By the way, if you are planning to buy a new smartphone and do not know how to use your old gadget, we recommend reading this article.
How are Smartphones Recycled?
It is regrettable but few of us ask this very question before buying or throwing away a gadget.
To begin with, let's see which smartphone parts cause the most damage if they are not disposed of properly and just go to trash:
- Housing. It mainly consists of metal or plastic. It takes more than 500 years for plastic to decompose in the soil, if it is trashed. Plastic can also be reused or burned. When burned, plastic parts release cancer-causing chemicals into the air. As to aluminum most often used in smartphone housing, its decomposing takes approximately 500 years.
- Rubber buttons. It takes at least 10 years for rubber buttons to decompose. Remember that you cannot burn rubber, because toxic gases are emitted, which pollute the air.
- Glass. This phone part will turn into sand only after several centuries (it can actually take up to 1000 years).
- Battery. One of the most environmentally destructive parts of a smartphone. It contains a huge amount of toxic substances such as lithium, mercury, lead, and arsenic. Their minimum decomposition time is 100 years.
To be recycled, a smartphone or tablet must cover a long way.
- Collecting smartphones and delivering to the factory. First, smartphones are collected. There exist different programs encouraging people to give away their gadgets, for example, “Give away your old gadget and get a 20% discount on a new one”.
- Sorting parts.After the device arrives at the factory, it gets disassembled into the smallest components that are grouped into plastic, metal, and glass parts. Batteries are always disposed of separately.
- Recycling.After being separated, plastic is sent for recycling. New housings are made from recycled plastic.
Silver, gold, platinum, palladium, copper, tin, and other metals are separated and remelted, and then they are used to produce new components. It would seem there is no if any silver / gold in an electronic device. However, on an industrial scale, the numbers are staggering. One million recycled phones can supply about 16,000 kg of copper, 350 kg of silver, 1,228 kg of gold, and 33 kg of palladium..
In 2017, the world's population produced about 46 million tons of e-waste. This number includes communication devices (smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc.).
Is repairing smartphones and tablets worth it?
Our answer is yes! And it's not because we sell spare parts.
Here are our reasons:
- 20-35% of phone components are biorefractory;
- rare earth metals are not recyclable;
- recycling requires huge energy resources;
- you cannot make a new phone from an old one – you still need to use additional parts and materials;
- repairs will always cost less than a new phone.
However, modern manufacturers are of different opinion! They are interested in selling new gadgets, rather than repairing old ones. And it is quite reasonable from their point of view.
Most modern smartphones are designed to be difficult to repair. Apple and Samsung are leaders among the most-hard-to-repair smartphones. For example, to replace a battery, you need to break the back cover. So you automatically pay not only for the battery, but also for the back panel of your phone.
When is repairing worthwhile?
It is worth repairing a gadget in the following cases:
- Display/screen damage. If the screen is damaged, its replacement will cost approximately 15-40% of the smartphone cost. In this case, it is obvious that replacing the display is always more cost-efficient than buying a new one.
- Firmware malfunction. This is another common failure cause, and as soon as you notice issues with your gadget, you are immediately tempted to rush to the store for a new device. Firmware malfunctions are easily fixed by flashing. This service will cost up to 10% of the gadget cost. As you can see, it is cheaper to go to the service center when your gadget screws up, than to send it to the landfill.
- The device won’t charge. There can be quite a lot of reasons why your device won’t charge, from an aged battery to a trivial charging connector failure. In any case, the repair will be more cost-efficient than buying a new smartphone / tablet.
There surely are cases when repair can be really expensive or fail to bring the desired result, but it happens quite rarely.
Choosing to repair your device, you save time and money, and what’s more, you help save our planet from pollution, save mineral and energy resources.
If something ever happens to your device and you need spare parts, visit our website. We have such a huge range of spare parts that we doubt you can fail to find the necessary component. ☺