Treasures in the drawer: so many old smartphones are gathering dust among Germans


For several months there has been a discussion about whether a cell phone deposit should be introduced in Germany. If smartphone owners hand over their old device when buying a new cell phone, this could result in a discount. Even if the old device is handed in individually, there could be money. A graphic from shows how useful such a deposit could be Statista.

Because this shows how many old smartphone treasures have been collected in German households in recent years. 83 percent of those surveyed stated that they still have at least one unused device. 57 percent of those surveyed, on the other hand, even have three or more smartphones that simply age in the drawer.

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So many old cell phones are lying around in German households.

Graphic: Statista

If you look at the extrapolated figures from the survey, the picture is frightening. While there were around 72 million old smartphones in German drawers in 2010, the number has risen rapidly in recent years. Around 206 million old smartphones are to be stored at home in 2021. Are the Germans just too lazy to dispose of the devices?

Because old smartphones cannot simply be thrown into the household waste. The technical devices must be recycled at waste collection points. Because they contain valuable raw materials such as silver or gold, but also substances that can be harmful to the environment in the long term. Always take more manufacturers are returning the old devices, but a simpler return point including a deposit would certainly be a great incentive for many people.

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