Phones are an everyday staple to most of us. We can use them in our day to day life and are seen as a necessity. With this in mind, and all the new versions that are being released each year we need to think about what's happening to these phones once we have finished with them.
Billions of phones have been produced and millions are still being created yearly. To keep our electronic waste down, we need to start thinking about recycling and recycling the parts from our phones to increase their longevity.
Exchange at Apple
Apple has a great recycling plan in place that allows owners to exchange their Apple products in store for store credit. They have reportedly saved more than 60,000 tons of electronic waste since their start. This waste will be used in other projects and sold to other manufacturing companies to increase the lifespan of the components.
All you need to do is enter your closest Apple store and hand your phone over. Apple will assess the value of the phone and/or Apple product and exchange it for an Apple Gift Card. They do accept non-Apple products however they will not provide any monetary reward but will dispose of the product responsibly.
To find out more on how you can trade your phone, have a look at Apple's information on recycling to find out what they provide in your country:
A few years ago Apple also invested a large sum into creating a robot that is now named "Liam". This robot is part of a disassembly line that will take apart iPhones to strip them down to their base part for reuse.
Eco Recycling an iPhone
Much like with Apple's recycling program some websites and companies will do the same thing. These companies will assess the phone and decide based on their condition if it will be used to sell on to less fortunate people or if the phone will be deconstructed for its parts. We have listed some examples of these companies below:
- UK - https://www.envirofone.com/en-gb
- US - https://www.ecoatm.com/
- Australia - https://www.mobilemuster.com.au/
This form of recycling won't remove the phone from circulation but rather keep it in circulation for a longer period. This will lead to less phone going straight to landfill and more needing to be produced.
Upcycling an iPhone
If you don't want to pass your phone onto a company for recycling don't just throw it away. Look at ways that you can use your old phone by upcycling it. Old phones can be used as simple music devices. They can store music and even browse the web or stream films with WiFi access. Either upcycling your phone and use it for yourself and hand it down to your children to play with.
If you are unable to upcycle your phone or pass it on to any family members that may be able to upcycle or use it, think about recycling it to help save the planet one phone at a time.
Wipe your phone before disposing
When recycling or throwing away your phone you want to first ensure that all your data is wiped from it. This will stop the possibility of people being able to use this data against you if they can get their hands on your device.
Backup to iCloud
Before wiping your phone you will want to back it up to the iCloud. This will ensure you don't lose anything that you will want to keep. To do this just follow the below:
Wifi On > Settings > Apple ID Banner > iCloud > iCloud Backup > Back up Now
This will start to backup your phone saving everything important to the iCloud.
Erasing data from an iPhone
Now that you have your phone backed up you will want to move on to wiping your phone entirely. To do this follow the below steps:
Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings > Erase Now > Enter Passcode > Enter Apple ID password.
This will proceed to erase all the data on your mobile phone and will get it ready to be handed in.