A smartphone contains between 17 and 26 grams of copper representing 13% of its weight. Besides plastics, iron and aluminium, many of these other elements are often used in small trace amounts for specific applications. Copper is used as a functional material in almost all of the components of a smartphone:
- USB cable
- integrated circuits
- Printed Board Area (PBA)
- Printed Circuit Board (PCB)
In electrical equipment, when a component processes or transfers energy or information, it must rely on copper's conductivity to provide this function using the minimum amount of space with the highest reliability. A single ton of copper provides enough material for at least 50,000 phones and 850,000 components in these phones.
See p 72 - 74 of Investigating the potential circularity of a phone using Life Cycle Assessment (accessed May 15, 2023)
Last update: May 15, 2023