THEIR PLANET: Your New Jewelry Might Be Made From An Old Phone
The world generates around 52 million tons of electronic waste (e-waste) annually and could exceed 120 million tons by 2050 (World Economic Forum). Every year, billions of dollars’ worth of precious metals such as platinum and gold are dumped into this mountain of electronic waste that continues to grow. ‘There is 100 times more gold in a ton of discarded mobile phones than in a ton of gold ore’ (Manhattan Gold and Silver). So what have people started to do with this waste? E-mining. E-mining is the process of recovering these precious metals from devices such as mobile phones, laptops, graphic cards and gaming consoles. If you’re wondering why these precious metals are used in electronic devices it is because among the reasons, they are good conductors of electricity and resist corrosion.
Devices that are recycled instead of added to the landfill, can be disassembled by a technician at a recycling plant. Plastic can be sent to be recycled down further, iron and copper can be melted and repurposed and the gold and platinum can be extracted from the circuit board. Electronic waste is an amazing resource - however, only about 12.5% of it is recycled. Two-thirds of the planet’s gold has already been extracted - so the future of gold mining is not in the core of the Earth; it is in our landfill sites. E-waste is the future of this industry.
Together, we can do our part and recycle our electronics to build a more circular luxury industry.