Digital Magic: What is your phone made of?

 

Surf the web, take a selfie, post on Instagram, make a TikTok, like on Facebook. It's all just a bunch of zero’s and one’s, computer code that's transferred back and forth, that makes it all possible.


But underneath all the fancy technology is something, how you say, a little more industrial. Like it or not, our phones are made of, well, stuff. Material. Metal, plastic, glass. Material that comes from the Earth, that needs to be harvested, mined or gathered. The best algorithm in the world still needs physical material to do its thing, or its just theory in a book.


Here are some of the materials which are in your cell phone (in no particular order):


  1. Gold: No, that's no typo, there’s gold in your phone. Good old fashion gold. Some phones can have 0.034 grams of gold. Why gold? It’s excellent at conducting electricity and never rusts.

  1. Silver: Yep, silver too. There can be 0.35 grams of silver in your phone. Silver can be used in circuit boards, its has great thermal and conductive properties and is durable.

  1. Copper: Copper is one of the most common metals used for electricity and the same 

goes for your mobile phone. A single cell phone can have a whopping 16 grams of copper!


  1. Plastic: Plastic, of course. Plastics are in almost everything we use. Just like gasoline, most plastics come from crude oil. The screen might be glass and even if the outside is metal, your phone will have plastic. And as you know, they take near forever to biodegrade.

  1. Rare Earth Metals: You might have heard of Rare Earth Metals, they are used in many electronics. They are used in small quantities and serve a variety of functions for your phone. Scientists are now looking to use old mobile phones as a source of Rare Earth Metals because traditional mining is costly and hurts the environment.

So when you dump your old phone in the trash, all that material goes to waste. The metals, plastics, glass, etc. 


You can prevent your phone from going into a trash heap by sending it to a proper recycling depot. There they can sort out the material and recycle as much as possible. Selling your old mobile phone is another option. Many cell phone buyback companies like eMobile will partner with a professional recycler to ensure nothing goes to waste. This will also give you some cash while bringing new life to your phone and ensuring that even if your device can’t be revived it will still be recycled ethically and responsibly.


To find out more about selling your old mobile phone, contact us at eMobile.