Smartphone pollution: How sustainable is the mobile phone industry?

Toxic trash: Market researchers estimate that since the introduction of the first iPhone ten years ago, more than seven billion smartphones have been produced and many of them have since ended up in the dump.

The smartphone and tablet market is a multi-billion dollar business in which companies compete hard to win customers. That’s good for the consumer but what's often overlooked is the environmental cost.

"With their short-lived devices and unnecessarily fast product cycles, the manufacturers are causing massive environmental damage and catastrophic working conditions," Manfred Santen, an electronics expert with Greenpeace, said at the recent Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

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