The world as we know it is growing to a more sustainable future, with many companies resulting it developing more eco-friendly products, especially gadgets. The growth of corporate manufactures making processors smaller, the phones are getting more compact and stronger – to laptops becoming thinner each year, which then helps reduce the amount of materials used. Being able to recycle materials that manufacturers put into production is a huge concern as we step into a world that relies solely on reducing our carbon footprint.
A study conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the states estimated that 2.37 million tons of electronics are ready for disposal – a staggering amount that would fill almost five stadiums of American football.
While plastic is a versatile and cheap material to construct and use in gadgets with its easy to recycle capabilities – not only does plastic need to be recycled, it is said that a plastic bottle or plastic bag takes 10-1000 years to decompose. Big tech companies like Samsung usually keep their sourcing of raw plastics a secret as it may open up to duplications of other competitors but companies like Simply Plastics give you an insight of what bulk plastic and acrylic are valued at.
Tech companies, like Apple – have set to recycle their former production mobiles and other gadgets to then further reuse their components by starting a recycle system where you can return your unwanted gadgets to them and they will recycle them in a sustainable manner for money – It also helps company profits as sourcing new plastic materials is costlier than recycling old gadgets.
Majority of tech companies are moving away from using plastic for look eutectics and for recycling purposes, although plastic helps hold components together and helps the board from shorting out in places, a motherboard is solely made from fiberglass and copper as they’re both perfect conductors.
Metal, like steel being an extremely recyclable material, as it has the ability to be melted down and reformed into another structure. It is also the most recycled material in the world – as steel is not consumed and is used over and over and an investment which does not go to waste. Gadgets, now and in the future contain a lot more recyclable and more sustainable components, not only for looks – but for build quality, like aluminum alloy, the material helps with the gadgets weight, antenna signal and of course, it’s more efficient.
They’re complications with using certain materials in phones, and other gadgets as companies have to precisely select the right materials to ensure the phone or tablet is able to receive antenna signal. It’s usually you will find Antenna lines, cut-outs made from glass or even a type of faux-metal to make sure the gadget is able to receive a long-lasting signal, also new tech gadgets want to incorporate wireless charging, and unfortunately for that to be a feature the gadget would have to be made from a thinner material, like glass.
Heat is one of the key factors for manufacturing a working phone. Metal is a great conductor and is great for cooling a gadget in the cold. The phone will get hot, as there is no fans or water-cooling, so you will always feel the heat from where the chipset is.
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Glass is extremely recyclable as being melted down from sand, the material can then again, be melted and reformed in new glass or something completely different. Tech companies use glass as it’s affordable and for most, they’re using the material to include wireless charging – not only does it support your devices, but glass has so many uses as it’s an absorbent that can collect solar energy which can further increase the sustainability of the world.
There are many renditions for glass, the most famous being Gorilla Glass – for the material being supposedly ‘unbreakable’, the glass has a mixture of compounds including aluminum, silicon, and oxygen – which makes it extremely strong.
Unlike natural, organic materials decomposing – glass does not decompose, like plastic or metal. That’s why the material must be recycled carefully. Gadget companies promote recycling a gadget as it helps them to restore the materials and it helps the environment because for every ton of recycled glass saves more than 650 kgs of CO2.