Not only does manufacturing electronics deplete natural resources from the Earth, but it could also lead to a shortage of several precious metals within the next 100 or so years. It is impossible to make electronic devices without key resources like gold, palladium, iron, oil, copper, and platinum (via EPA), and this puts a huge environmental strain on Earth’s limited resources. Despite this, the majority of electronic devices end up in landfills, not recycling centers.
According to scientists, this means that continuing to use limited resources at this rate is simply not sustainable, and if trends continue, there will not be enough for future generations. Already, the United Nations estimates that up to 7% of gold in the world could be sitting inside e-waste and not in its natural environment. But, there is a way to reverse this. The Royal Chemistry Society said to the BBC that people should make an effort to mine waste instead of digging up new resources from the ground. Recycling your unwanted electronics rather than throwing them in the garbage helps ensure they’ll be taken apart and put to new uses rather than left to rot in landfills.