According to a study published by the Society of Chemistry (CSR), the global reserves of rare metals needed for the construction of cell phones and other high-tech equipment could be depleted in the not too distant future if end-of-life devices are not collected and recycled in a higher percentage.
Particular problems could put the reserves of Indium, Yttrium, and Tantalum. Essential for the production of microprocessors, these raw materials could be exhausted in less than 100 years if the remaining reserves are not conserved by recycling outdated devices.
According to statistics obtained in the UK, only 18% of people who own one or more remaining unused gadgets plan to send them for recycling, and 14% intend to resell them.
Among the explanations found for refusing to give up obsolete devices is the fear that the personal data left on their storage will reach foreign hands, but also the lack of a strategy for collection.
Some manufacturers of equipment and shops already offer schemes to reward customers who bring an old device for recycling, such as price discounts for newly purchased products. But overall, the number of such recycled devices is insignificant, compared to the daily sales made by regular stores.