Re: Recycling isn't necessary for minimal impact on the environment
When it comes to long life devices, who gives a toss about recyclable?
Long life is quite an assumption here. Even assuming that the device will function for over 5 years, will the technology in it be relevant by then?
What matters is that every part can be replaced easily and cheaply...
This does nothing to help the environment. Imagine for a moment that such a modular phone does exist. Say the screen breaks, so you replace that. Now instead of just having a phone to recycle, you have a phone and a broken screen to recycle. Even if you want to keep using the phone for some time, the recyclability of the broken parts is an issue.
... and that replacement parts will be available as long as the owners want to go on using the phone.
Here's the crux of the issue. Every mobile phone I've had to date has been replaced while it's still functional. Three of them were replaced not because I wanted to replace them, but because my network would no longer support them. Two of them were replaced because my employer decided I needed a newer, more capable device.
As long as it's usable and useful recycling is an irrelevance.
No, as long as it's in use recycling is irrelevant. But so is throwing it in a landfill.
Long-life is great and all (however unlikely for a mobile phone) but everything comes to an end. And if we can design things which can be put to other use once their current use has ended, why wouldn't we?