Let’s start off by making one thing clear – rechargeable batteries have had a net-positive impact on the environment. From your phone and laptop, to your earbuds, and much more, the vast majority of electronic devices come packaged with a charger. The question is, what should happen to your old charger once you upgrade to a new device that isn’t compatible with the equipment you already have?
E-Waste is a Problem
If you were asked about the fastest growing waste category that impacts the world today, it’s likely that you’d say plastic poses the biggest threat. We’re constantly exposed to stories of trash-filled oceans and animals being subjected to living amongst our garbage. While there’s no question that plastic is an urgent issue, another form of waste is getting overlooked.
Electronic waste, which includes computers, phones, batteries, chargers, and all their accessories, is the fastest growing waste stream globally. In fact, the EPA estimates that only 15% of e-waste is recycled. The rest ends up going into landfills or being illegally exported to developing countries willing to pay for cheap, obsolete products.
The Importance of Recycling Chargers
Because of the raw materials used to make them, chargers are one of the most valuable recycled electronic products out there. For example, the copper wire used in cables is a commodity that can be sold and used in other ways.
In addition to the raw materials, the charger itself can often be repurposed and used to power other devices. Even if all you have is a stray cord from a device you’ve forgotten about, chances are someone else can find a use for it. Plenty of recycled chargers have made their way into educational programs and outfitted for new use. The bottom line is anything is better than throwing it in the trash.
Where to Recycle
If you have a mess of old cables and chargers that are no longer needed, seek out a reputable, certified electronic waste recycling company. Simply drop off or ship your materials and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing you did your part to preserve the environment!