International Mobile Phone Recycling Day Date in the current year: January 24, 2024

International Mobile Phone Recycling Day International Mobile Phone Recycling Day is observed annually on January 24 to raise awareness of the negative effects of smartphone consumerism on wildlife and encourage people to dispose of their smartphones in an appropriate manner.

There are billions of smartphones in the world, and their number is constantly growing because the lifespan of an average smartphone is about two years before upgrade or replacement. Most people don’t even think about recycling their old smartphones, which means that millions of smartphones enter the waste stream every year, contributing to the already considerable harm humanity does to the environment.  

Another reason to recycle smartphones is that electronics contain valuable minerals like cobalt, gold, tantalum, and tungsten (wolfram). The amount of these minerals in one phone might seem negligible (for example, a typical mobile phone contains just 0.034 grams of gold), but you need to look at the bigger picture here: a million discarded phones contain about 72 pounds of gold, and about 150 million mobile phones enter the waste stream every year. You do the math.

Extraction of these minerals, large amounts of which are mined in Africa, leads to the destruction of habitats and endangers local wildlife. When phones are recycled, these minerals can be reused to produce more smartphones, thus reducing the demand for mining. In addition, some of the money from mining is used to fund local armed conflicts, which are detrimental to both the environment and civilian population.

Sadly, most people simply throw broken and unwanted smartphones away instead of having them recycled. For example, only about 15% of smartphones in the United States are recycled, which is not nearly enough to keep the environment clean, habitats undamaged, and wildlife safe. That is why it is so important to raise awareness about the benefits of phone recycling.  

International Mobile Phone Recycling Day was launched in 2015 as part of the Forest Is Calling campaign of the Jane Goodall Institute. The Jane Goodall Institute was founded in 1977 to continue Dr. Jane Goodall’s pioneering research on chimpanzee behavior and promote the conservation of great apes and preservation of their habitats.

The inaugural International Mobile Phone Recycling Day was held on January 26, 2015. In 2017, its date was changed to January 24, and it has been observed on this day ever since, not necessarily coinciding with the annual Forest Is Calling campaign.

How can you observe International Mobile Phone Recycling Day? You can learn more about the negative effects of e-waste on the environment, find a recycling facility near you and bring your unwanted phones there, commit to using your smartphone for longer than two years, encourage everyone around you to recycle their old mobile phones and other electronics, donate to the Jane Goodall Institute or any other organization that focuses on environmental protection and conservation efforts, and spread the word about the observance on social media with the hashtag #InternationalMobilePhoneRecyclingDay.

Remind me with Google Calendar


International Observances, Ecological Observances


International Mobile Phone Recycling Day, international observances, environmental observances, Jane Goodall Institute, e-waste