Can buying a second hand phone help save the planet?

Let’s face it–we’re completely lost without our mobile phones. 

But have you ever considered the harmful effect these short-lived gadgets have on the environment? 

It’s estimated that around 3.5 billion people own a mobile phone.

But with phone contracts lasting just a year or two, a lot of tech ends up in landfills…

So, what can you do about it? And what other benefits are there to second-hand phones


Not only is a second hand phone a great choice for the planet–but also for your wallet. Refurbished phones may be cheaper than brand new ones but often have been replaced with cheap 3rd party internal parts. However, second hand phones that haven’t been refurbished keep all original parts. This means they’ll have the same quality and durability as the latest iPhone. 

In fact, if you pop your old phone on eBay and put the earnings towards a good-as-new second hand phone, you’ll be paying pennies to get back to your Candy Crush fix. 


It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that making a smartphone isn’t the most eco-friendly. Samsung is also one of the worst offenders, with only 1% of their 16,000 GWh coming from renewable energy. The materials in your smartphone, such as silver, platinum and lithium, also require intensive mining that uses petroleum oil and contribute to high emissions. In addition, most phones are manufactured in China, so shipping them across to the UK adds to this carbon footprint. Unbelievably, 80% of the carbon footprint of a phone comes from the production process itself. However, investing in a used phone bypasses the entire supply chain and reduces the need for unnecessary manufacturing. 

Hazardous waste

But what impact do used phones have once we’re done with them? Up to 120 million phones discarded every year contribute to pollution. Toxic metals in phones such as mercury can be fatal to animals and harmful to the environment. Some smartphones can be recycled, but this largely depends on the type of phone, and the process isn’t the most efficient. Instead, donate or sell your old phone and consider purchasing a second hand phone that still has years left. 

Is it worth buying a second hand phone?

Let’s be honest, buying a second hand phone isn’t going to get rid of global warming–but a little goes a long way. By purchasing a second hand phone, you’ll prevent unnecessary manufacturing and promote a responsible relationship with technology that challenges throwaway culture. A waste not, want not to attitude towards the smartphone industry can only be a positive–especially if it saves money in your pocket. 

Where can I buy a second hand phone? 

There is no shortage of second hand phones for sale online–so it’s unlikely you’ll have trouble getting your hands on a second-hand iPhone 11.

However, some sellers aren’t as reputable as they may seem or don’t have an agreement in place should anything go wrong. 

FCQ phones are hardware and software quality checked before they get listed. 90% of our phones include all original Apple parts and we will only replace them with a new high-quality 3rd party battery or screen where strictly necessary. We also offer a 30-day money-back guarantee on all phone purchases and a 60-day labour and parts warranty. For more information, contact our team at

          Buy used iPhone 8/ iPhone X/ iPhone XR/ iPhone 11

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