April 26, 2013
UNEP warns of emissions link to mobile phone demand
Demand for metals is expected to rise tenfold as emerging economies adopt similar technologies and lifestyles to richer nations.
1.75 billion mobile phones were sold in 2012, of which 53.5% were smartphones, which use over 40 variants of metal. The average tablet or Apple iPad weighs 650g and contains 1.3g of tin-rich solder.
UNEP says the recycling of electronic equipment has to be radically increased to ensure mining and refining operations around the world do not get out of control.
It estimates that 20-50 million tonnes of electronic waste is produced annually, equating to three to seven kilogrammes per person.
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