The spread of the internet and mobile devices changed our daily life. Some people feel they cannot survive without a smartphone.
Different from a refrigerator, the mortality of a smartphone is relatively short. After two years, you will have complaints of its delayed response. And most smartphones and tablets will be scrapped within four or five years. But after being replaced by a new one, what will happen on the old device?
A UN study team warns this issue with calling it as e-waste. In many countries especially in Asia, enormous amounts of electric devices are produced in every year. However, the management of discarded devices is not discussed properly. As a result, e-waste is rapidly increasing so that environmental problems is growing. Inappropriately scrapped electric devices are not only waste of natural resource, but also can produce toxic chemicals.
The Nation: E-waste rising dangerously in Asia: UN study
In developed countries including Japan, some legislation regarding discarding electric devices have been established. In contrast, many developing countries have no room to address this issue because their attention is occupied to supply adequate numbers of products. This structure is the same as any other environmental issues.
I think smartphone makers will provide a recycling program for customers. It will be a contract with the provider and a consumer. The provider offers a new model of smartphone to a user with retracting the old one. It will spare the cost of new products, as well be advantageous to fix users for a long time.