Polystyrene trays can't be recycled. Try and avoid buying food and drink which comes in polystyrene! If you can't, put the containers in your rubbish bin. Polystyrene often isn't recycled because it is difficult to sort from other types of plastic waste and easily breaks into small beads which can clog up sorting machines and cause them to break down.
Technology products have become a huge part of our lives. No access to a laptop, computer, tablet or smartphone, even just for one day, would be a struggle for most of us! Whilst technology has become essential in today's world, its spread has also brought about a number of problems. One of the most concerning of all is the increase of e-waste. This is all electronic products such as mobile phones, computers, TVs and so on, that have become unwanted, non-working or obsolete and are thrown away instead of recycled.
Some surprising stats
- The US produces the most e-waste in the world - an unbelievable 9.4 million tonnes per year. In the UK, we produce 1.3 million tonnes of e-waste each year
- Around 350,000 mobile phones are thrown away each day
- At present, only 12.5% of all our e-waste is recycled
- By recycling 1 million cell phones, we could recover 350kg of silver, 34kg of gold, 16,000kg of copper and 15kg of palladium
We change mobile phones very quickly as newer, better models are constantly being released. Unfortunately, many of us are not aware that phones can be recycled and so they end up in the bin with the rest of our waste. By recycling old mobile phones we can help save resources, be kind to the environment and also make some money as many companies offer something in exchange for unwanted phones!
Here are five creative ideas for recycling your old mobile phone, whether it be a smartphone or an old-style mobile phone.
Use it as a car phone. You can do this if your phone isn't visibly damaged. Keep a charger in your car drawer and use it as a GPS, radio or music player.
Make a remote control. It's not important if you have an Android or IOS, both can be turned into a brand new remote! The first thing to do is check if it has an infrared or IR blaster. This will let you connect it to air conditioners, TVs and many other devices which can be controlled remotely.
- Make a security camera! This is definitely an amazing way to recycle your mobile phone and it's extremely simple too. The only thing you need to do is install an application like Presence, Perch or Gotya, depending on your phone's operating system, and then place the phone where you want surveillance. You can keep an eye on your front door, your garden - it's your choice.
A broken phone can be turned into a piggy bank or wallet. Simply reassemble the phone as only the exterior is needed.
Don't be someone who throws their old gadgets in the trash. It's really easy to check the value of your old mobile phone and sell it on to be recycled.
Recycling really does make a difference, so let's all do our bit to keep the planet healthy for future generations.
Abigail Smith is a communications specialist and currently works for Compare and Recycle where he manages their blog. Their main goal is to help visitors find the best solution for recycling their old phones and gadgets.