Why your next phone needs to be a refurbished phone
Your phones carbon footprint is much larger that you realise
Almost half of the world’s population use smartphones (that’s an estimated 3.5 billion people!1) and this number is growing daily, but what most people don’t realise is that, in order to produce one single smartphone, precious earth elements such as gold, lithium, aluminium, cobalt, copper, silver and more are required for the circuitry, battery and casing2.
The majority of a smartphone’s carbon footprint is generated during the manufacturing stage, thanks to mining, transportation and the assembly of multiple chemical elements that make up the tech to support each device.
Building a smartphone requires extracting so many rare elements from the earth, mining for these components is so deeply problematic, not only from contaminating the atmosphere but also by generating toxic byproducts, which seep into the soil and water, destroying habitats and ecosystems in the process.
Don’t hoard! Recycle!
Even though the UK sees an average of 10 million new phones purchased every year, current estimates place smartphone recycling to just 15%. Consumers have a habit of hoarding their old devices3.
Phones that end up in landfills will continue to harm the environment long after most of due to the toxic metals, which then slowly get released and waste management companies are still trying to figure out better infrastructures to cope with the volume of phones that end up in the ground.
Over 80% of the materials in your phone are recyclable and organisations such as RecycleNow offer a free location finder so that you can find your nearest facility to hand your old mobiles in for recycling4.
Buy refurbished, do your part for the environment and save £££
Not only will you helping in the global effort to protect the environment, purchasing a refurbished handset will save you a significant amount of money.
Most phones in the market have only been used for a couple of years by consumers and then traded in for a discount on a new device.
Certified pre-owned devices will have been restored with numerous checks on OEM repair history, battery health and component health.
Refurbished phones are typically given a 'grade' and they are defined as follows:
- Like New – appears new or has only very minor signs of handling or wear.
- Very Good – may have scratches, chips or other forms of light cosmetic damage.
- Good – will show signs of wear; expect the product to look used.
Before you buy, consider the below have been reviewed.
- Know what you’re buying - Has the phone been tested using accredited services such as Phonecheck?
- Make sure you’re protected - Avoid handsets that come without a warranty
- Is there a returns policy? - What happens if there is a fault on your newly acquired handset? Make sure there is a returns policy and read it carefully before going through with the purchase
- Make sure the handset is unlocked as if you are on a specific network, the device will not work with your SIM card if it is locked
- Check the reviews - Most customers will be frank when submitting a review and it will tell you all you need to know about the quality of the phone as well as the aftercare from the reseller
In summary, if you care about the environment, buying refurbished rather than brand new is a great way to help the planet. Reusing rather than recycling a phone for its parts is a great way to prolong its lifespan, and if you’re conscious about your carbon footprint and being more green, buying refurbished will help you do your bit to lower consumption.
- Number of smartphone users worldwide from 2016 to 2026
- For metals of the smartphone age, no Plan B
- The hibernating mobile phone: Dead storage as a barrier to efficient electronic waste recovery
- Management and recycling of electronic waste
Our refurbished phones
Refurbished iPhone 7
Refurbished iPhone 8
Refurbished iPhone X
Refurbished iPhone 11