A pile of broken smartphones litter an e-waste facility

France is now encouraging its citizens to shift their spending habits to used electronics, including smartphones.

The reason for this encouragement? To help the environment and assist local e-commerce startups, Bloomberg reported. 

According to Bloomberg, the government is now drawing up incentives to encourage consumers to change their old habits of buying new electronics. 

Next year, the government will launch a scoring system for a device’s re-usability. 

Moreover, the government will also invest $25 million to fund re-usability projects and startups. 

The money will come from the government’s stimulus plan, per Bloomberg. 

France’s Minister for the Environment, Barbara Pompili, told Bloomberg, the government is already discussing how to improve second-hand purchasing. 

However, there are no specifics yet because the plan is yet to be finalized. 

Furthermore, a new tax on goods will be implausible as companies would probably transfer the burden to its customers. 

A man sorting out broken TV tubes in a French e-waste facility

Why Are Electronics, Especially Smartphones, Bad for the Environment

Electronics have been contributing to our environment’s degradation from their creation to throwing them away. 

It starts with mining materials that will be used to create smartphones and other electronics, to releasing toxic wastes after throwing them away.

Smartphones, cameras, computers, and other electronic devices when thrown away become electronic waste. 

Electronic wastes, after warming them produce toxic chemicals or greenhouse gasses which affect climate change. 

According to researchers from McMaster University, the environmental impact of ICT from 2010-2020 is getting worse.

In fact, in 2007, the ICT industry only represents 1% of the world’s carbon footprint.

However, it has since already tripled and might exceed 14% come 2040, the Fast Company reported. 

Moreover, among those electronics, phones are the ones contributing the most as it is the most disposable due to its “two-year average life cycle.” 

Refurbishing and reusing old smartphones instead can help in saving the environment as it reduces electronic waste.

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