PHS Maxitech excited at potential of self-destructing mobile phones

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As researchers reveal that they have created a self-destructing mobile phone microchip, IT disposal company PHS Maxitech discuss the environmental and security implications of this type of technology.

Until self-destructing electronics become commonplace, it is essential that businesses try to minimise the impact that their office waste has on the environment in other ways.

Every year, 20 to 50 million tons of e-waste is generated worldwide, the majority of which is discarded into incinerators or landfills rather than recycled.

To help reduce landfill e-waste and airborne toxins, researchers at the University of Illinois in the US have been working to create bio-compatible devices that dissolve at the end of their useful life, without being a threat to the environment.

Led by Professor John Rogers, the team have created a self-destructing mobile phone microchip made of natural fibres which is specifically engineered to dissolve at a programmed moment in time. The next step is creating key components and eventually the whole mobile phone out of similar materials.

PHS Maxitech is excited about the potential of self-destructing electronics. Anthony Pearlgood, managing director of PHS Maxitech said: “There is still a long way to go before the researchers develop a complete mobile phone out of naturally dissolving materials, but the technology is still revolutionary.

“Office electrical goods have become the fastest growing element in the municipal waste system, and businesses in the UK are producing 2,000,000 tonnes of waste electronic and electrical equipment every year.

“Toxic chemicals in electronics products can leach into the land over time or are released into the atmosphere, impacting nearby communities and the environment.

“So until self-destructing electronics become commonplace, it is essential that businesses try to minimise the impact that their office waste has on the environment in other ways.”

The Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment Regulations 2006, otherwise known as the WEEE Directive, places a legal and ethical duty on businesses to ensure that their redundant IT equipment is disposed of in an environmentally responsible way.

But PHS Maxitech knows that the security implications of self-destructing electronics will need to be dealt with before the technology can become adopted by businesses worldwide.

Anthony continued: “With the Information Commissioner’s Office able to fine companies up to £500,000 for data breaches, organisations should always make security the highest priority when disposing of their old IT equipment. Only time will tell if self-destructing electronics will be able to offer this.

“At PHS Maxitech, we know that confidentiality is a crucial part of IT disposal. All data is completely wiped from the equipment we receive, and if a hard drive is faulty and cannot be wiped, it will be shredded to ensure maximum security.”

“Until self-destructing electronics are brought to market, using an IT disposal company like PHS Maxitech is a safer solution for your old equipment.”

About PHS
The PHS Group is a leading workplace services provider, and has traded in the UK since 1963. It has a diverse service portfolio aimed at improving work and leisure spaces, while making life much easier for facilities, building and people managers.

PHS really does ‘do more than you think’, providing products and services for:

  •     Crate rental and packaging
  •     Interior and exterior planting
  •     Laundry equipment and workwear
  •     Matting and flooring
  •     Records storage and management
  •     Shredding and recycling
  •     Testing and compliance
  •     Washrooms
  •     Waste management
  •     Water machines
  •     Workplace consumables

PHS provides these direct to UK companies, and also operates as a tier one supplier to the facilities management market, supporting the integrated service propositions of most of the major FMs.

The PHS Group’s annual turnover for the year ending March 2012 was £422 million. It employs around 5,000 personnel, operates from a wide network of 153 regional service branches, and takes care of over 250,000 customers at over 450,000 locations in the UK, Ireland, Holland, Belgium and Spain.

http://www.phs.co.uk/datashred/it-disposal

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Caroline Williams
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