Environmentalists Identify New Menace: Discarded Cellphones

from the more-polluting-technology dept

It seems that technology firms are causing all sorts of problems these days. The issue of pollution from discarded PCs has been well documented in the past year, but now (according to the NY Times) environmentalists are targeting cellphones as the latest cause of high tech pollution. As more and more people buy mobile phones – and replace them every year and a half, plenty of the phones are piling up in the garbage. Some are suggesting that mobile phone companies be required to take back the phones – which will encourage them to make easily recyclable phones. Others, however, think that older phones should be donated to charities are developing nations. There are also some arguments over whether or not the amount of toxic materials in the phones should be regulated. The manufacturers, of course, say this would do bad things to the industry and make them less creative in how they could make phones.

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Comments on “Environmentalists Identify New Menace: Discarded Cellphones”

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D Henkel-Wallace says:

This article is full of funny quotes

…the Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association, opposes mandatory programs…the industry prefers programs in which old phones are…resold in less developed countries…

This ignores the fact that there are no “less developed countries” who can use the US’s “Fred Flintstone” mobile phones.

“If we had had a government standard in the beginning,” he said, “we’d still all be speaking on analog phones. And that means no e-mail, no text messaging, no Caller ID. Competition equals innovation in this case.”

Well, I’m still waiting for working text messaging here in the USA! As for e-mail and caller-ID; not only do they have nothing to do with mobiles; they were developed under a regime of government-enforced standards.

Plus I’m amused that those wankers at the CTIA renamed themselves. They used to be the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association, but decided to “associate” themselves with the Internet by renaming themselves.

What a bunch of losers.

xdroop (user link) says:

No Subject Given

Howler of the day:

Competition equals innovation in this case.

…glibly ignoring the fact that competition only produces things that people are willing to pay for — most cellphone consumers are willing to pay extra for extra features (like inadequate text messaging, crappy web ‘browsing’, and over priced caller-ID) but would probably not pay an extra $10 for the same phone made of more environmentally friendly materials.

It is up to the government to protect interests that need protecting and cannot protect themselves — in this case, the environment.

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