In this technology hungry world, big companies have the advantage of coming out with newer products every year to sell it to the masses who love the brand. Products are also discarded way too quickly for a newer and more expensive update.
The problem is not the fact that the human race has become a crazy species that just loves showing off their new products to people who really couldn’t care less. The real problem is that when people buy these new products, their old ones are discarded and thrown away.
Most electronic products are made of plastic and silicon based products, which are non-biodegradable, are piling up in landfills.
It isn’t just the consumer that is at fault here though. The companies that are producing these products have to think about sustainability for their products and services as well. The iPhone 6 broke records when it was sold to 75 million people in 2014, but the sad part in this story is that the iPhone 7 was sold to almost the same number of people.
Companies do not think of creating products which can sustain themselves for longer than a year or two. This creates a power hungry generation that keeps wanting more and more. This constant crazy consumer culture is creating a threat to the world; the threat of a plastic apocalypse.
To solve this problem, there are a few things that leading technology companies need to do:
Create adaptive devices
Smart phones and tablets are seen as replaceable devices and people don’t tend to use them for more than a year or two. A simple solution to this problem is making devices which have detachable features and can be updated each year. This way, the amount of wastage will be greatly reduced and instead of buying a new phone each year, people can buy new components and get regular software updates at their respective phone dealers.
Limit waste in creation
Companies that package their products, take good care that their packaging is as good as the product itself. When the truth is that the packaging is never touched after the initial un-boxing of the product. Why not create these packages from recyclable materials? Companies can set up drop boxes where people can throw away the packaging and respective companies can collect them for reuse. This would drastically bring down the packaging cost and reduce waste.
Recycle phones to get back resources
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 25,274 pounds of copper, 75 pounds of gold, 772 pounds of silver and 33 pounds of palladium can be recovered from a million phones that have been thrown away.
With the world having 2.3 billion smartphones users, about 172,500 pounds of gold can be recovered.
With the world moving towards a better future with working on climate change, creating technological products that last long is another step to ensuring a better future for the planet. Tech giants need to rethink their strategies to play their part in creating a better future for the world.