Phone manufacturing Companies around the world may or may not be aware of it, but their attitude towards recycling phones is endangering various species of gorillas in Congo. In a bid to make more phones without recycling the old ones, they are venturing into the natural habitat of these primates to find materials necessary for and putting them at risk.
Columbite tantalite or coltan is a very relevant material used in the manufacturing of electronic gadgets and products including cell phones. Coincidentally, it is also one of the natural resources that the Republic of Congo is blessed with. Its mining is a major activity in many zones in the nation.
Sadly, 300 gorillas were killed in Southern DRC, in 2009. The reasons for their demise had something to do with the coltan mining going on in this same area.
Nature’s largest primate, the Grauer gorilla, can weigh up to 400 pounds and can be found in the deep forests of Congo. Presently, only about 4,000 western lowland gorilla can be found in zoos while there are not up to 5,000 eastern lowland gorillas left in the world. The most highly endangered species remain the mountain gorilla; as of today, they are only 880 of them left in both zoos and wildlife areas. These are terrifying numbers that show just how endangered these animals are.
The United States is home to over 270 million people who use cell phones. In approximately every 18 months, someone here changes their phone or gets a new one, hence disposing of one. There are more than 4.1 billion cellphone users all over the world. In spite of these great numbers, only about 1% of these disposed cell phones (wastes) are recycled every year.
It is true that Samsung and Apple are the biggest contributors to the cell phone manufacturing industry, nevertheless, other companies affect the growth of the industry to a large extent too. Instead of throwing away your old phones only for them to not be recycled, you can sell your used iPhone.
It is estimated that the number of cellphone users will increase to become 4.68 billion by the year 2020. However, with an inclination towards the recycling of electronic gadgets, most especially phones, we don’t need to endanger the lives of gorillas any further. From just a tonne of cell phones, you can get up to sixty times the quantity of gold you’ll get from a tonne of gold ore. This is one more reason why recycling is a big deal.
Recycling used/old phones amongst other electronic devices is a big step for the world towards the preservation of life. A lot of organizations have begun the initiative but the rest of the world still hasn’t caught up.
And it has to because gorillas are being endangered due to the incessant disturbance of their natural habitat for the extraction of minerals essential for the manufacturing of new phones. This is an easily preventable circumstance and it can be done with the active participation of the cellphone industry and their main contributors in the recycling of e-waste.