Lots of people are excited about the launch of a new flagship smartphone, but it’s easy to overlook the hazardous impact new phones have on the environment and human health. We’re on a mission to reduce e-waste, and we need your help to convey how important it is to properly dispose of old phones – a simple yet critical step people can take to make a real, positive difference for our planet.  Take tomorrow’s Galaxy S8 release, on the eve of Earth Day 2017. Samsung has stated it hopes to sell 60 million units of its new phone, and we know a lot of people who are pining to find out how Samsung Galaxy S8 Bixby stands up to Siri. However, selling 60 million new phones means:

Samsung Galaxy S8 Samsung Fire Galaxy S8 Bixby
_ / Pixabay

* 60 million old phones will be replaced, representing up to 20 million pounds of e-waste

* Up to 80%, or 48 million, of those old phones will end up in landfills, releasing poisons like lead and arsenic into the environment

* Given that just 16% of e-waste is properly recycled, many of those old phones will end up in developing countries, where children as young as 6 years old are exposed to toxic chemicals during precious metal reclamation

Of course, we’re not suggesting Samsung or any other phone manufacturer is intentionally poisoning the planet; rather, we’re pointing out how a new flagship launch has a domino effect that ultimately introduces millions of pounds of harmful e-waste into the environment and threatens the health of unprotected workers in developing nations – many of them children.

The best defense against e-waste’s harmful effects is educating the public about how to properly dispose of their used phones. We’ve published an article detailing how to do just that here – https://flipsy.com/article/379/properly-dispose-old-broken-smartphone – but in a nutshell, you have three options:

1. Sell your old phone: It’s the perfect recycling solution because no processing is required. Someone else simply takes ownership of your phone and uses it, so it won’t be sent to landfills or developing nations. Amazon and Ebay are popular selling options; though, perhaps surprisingly, you can get more money with fewer hassles by selling to buyback companies. You can instantly compare the highest-paying buyback offers for any phone on http://www.flipsy.com.

2. Recycle your old phone: You need to be careful to choose a recycling center that follows proper e-waste recycling protocols to ensure your phone won’t be sent to developing nations.

3. Donate your old phone: Many charities accept old phones and put them to good use; in most cases, your donation also qualifies as a tax deduction. Here’s our “master list” of places to donate used phones: https://flipsy.com/article/370/best-places-donate-used-phone-master-list-updated-2017.

In the spirit of Earth Day, now is the perfect time to get the word out about responsible smartphone disposal. Hopefully, more Samsung Galaxy S8 buyers will dispose of their old phones responsibly; thus, they’ll get an amazing new flagship and do their part to protect Planet Earth while they’re at it.

By Brian at Flipsy