Sunday, November 20, 2016

BETTER RE: Better Reuse for Old Smartphone Batteries

Smartphones have come a long way from their origins as a mobile communication platform or a gadget for tech geeks. Today they are in more pockets than just business executives or computer scientists—they are an essential accessory for everyone in our increasing connected society. However, with each passing year comes a new model and upgrade, which quickly results in a significant e-waste problem. Some parts, like the lithium ion batteries, are incredibly harmful to the environment on both sides of its lifecycle.

However, BETTER RE provides an alternative to throwing away these harmful materials in the waste chain. Initially conceived as a Kickstarter campaign, BETTER RE repurposes the old batteries into an external power source aka portable charger. According to their study, phone users have an average replacement cycle of 1.3 years. However, most of the batteries in those old phones still have at least 80 percent efficiency after 2 years. Furthermore, as we increasingly integrate the smartphone into our everyday tasks, many smartphone users face battery shortage due to over-usage.

(Image Courtesy: BETTER RE via Kickstarter)

As a result, BETTER RE diverts the old batteries from the waste stream by packaging them into a new body designed to recharge your current smartphone. The unit fits a wide variety of common batteries, which makes the process very easy.

This is an excellent example of how upcycling can promote environmental responsibility, social justice, and entrepreneurship. To find out more about the company and an opportunity to get one for yourself, check out the BETTER RE website.

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