QEPR Connected Newsletter


The Environmental Impact of Lost and Discarded Smartphones

August 31, 2023


The Environmental Impact of Lost and Discarded Smartphones

Good Day. Welcome to QEPR Connected, your weekly 5 minute resource keeping you connected to the stories, technologies, and global experiences of a Digital Lifestyle.

In Today’s Newsletter:

  • Stories: Smartphones’ rise amplifies e-waste; the solution lies in collaboration
  • Chart: eWaste of Smartphones, Tablets and Other Devices
  • Experiences: New upcoming digital technology events you can’t miss



The ubiquity of smartphones and high level of churn as old models are replaced with new has led to significant environmental concerns due to the electronic waste from lost and discarded smart devices. 

Key insights from studies in this issue of QEPR Connected highlight: the practice of planned obsolescence by tech giants, the potential to recycle up to 90% of components from discarded phones, the need for collective efforts to tackle the e-waste crisis, the environmental and security risks associated with e-waste, and innovative solutions like repurposing discarded smartphones as processors. 

To combat the environmental effects, proactive measures such as GPS tracking and remote locking are suggested, while collaboration among stakeholders can promote responsible recycling and disposal, transitioning from a linear consumption model to a sustainable circular economy.

Keep reading as we share the stories which really move the needle!



We dive deep into the vast depths of mobile technologies, and global experiences of a Digital Lifestyle, and surface only the 5  high-impact stories and studies you need to know:


  1. Your Smartphone Should Be Built to LastTech giants design products with planned obsolescence, but global movements push for repairability to reduce electronic waste.


  1. What happens to your old smart phone after you put it in e-waste binTrace the journey from discard to dismantling here, where up to 90% of components are recycled.


  1. E-Waste Impact: Solutions for a Healthier PlanetThe e-waste crisis can be tackled through sustainable design  joint efforts of consumers, industries, and governments.


  1. What Exactly is eWaste– Learn how E-waste via discarded and lost smartphones are posing environmental and security threats, with recycling as a key solution.


  1. New Solution for e-waste: Repurpose into ProcessorsResearchers from UC San Diego use discarded smartphones as processors to extend their lifespan and reduce e-waste.




The Environmental Impact of Lost and Discarded Smartphones


The ubiquity of smartphones in our modern lives…

has introduced a pressing concern – the environmental consequences of lost and discarded devices. While smartphones offer unparalleled convenience and connectivity, the inadvertent outcome of this digital age is the detrimental impact on the environment. This issue goes beyond financial losses and data breaches, as it contributes significantly to the growing problem of electronic waste.


As we grapple with the environmental fallout….

of lost and discarded smartphones, it’s imperative to address this challenge with proactive solutions. One approach involves raising awareness about smartphone loss prevention among users. Implementing measures like GPS tracking and remote locking can minimize the chances of devices being abandoned or ending up in landfills, where their components release harmful substances into the environment.


Fostering a culture of smartphone loss recovery…

can make a substantial difference. Collaborative efforts between manufacturers, tech companies, and consumers can create avenues for responsible disposal and recycling of lost devices. By refurbishing and repurposing smartphones, we not only reduce electronic waste but also extend the lifecycle of valuable materials. In doing so, we shift from a linear model of consumption to a more sustainable circular economy, where the environmental impact of lost smartphones is mitigated and positive change is catalyzed.



In the rapidly evolving digital era, smartphones, while transformative, have inadvertently heightened environmental challenges, chiefly through electronic waste. 

This edition of QEPR Connected underscored the pressing need to counteract the effects of this burgeoning e-waste crisis. From confronting the ingrained practice of planned obsolescence to leveraging groundbreaking innovations like repurposing discarded devices, it’s evident that our path forward lies in cohesive collaboration. 

The pivot from a straightforward consumption trajectory to a regenerative circular model is not just a possibility, but an imperative. As we navigate this digital landscape, it’s crucial to remain informed, adaptive, and most importantly, responsible.

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