Consumer demand for small devices has helped create a system where products are recycled via shredding, which is very much what it sounds like. Gadgets are essentially pulverized down to their smallest bits, after which relevant parts are scavenged for repurposing. It’s neither cost-effective nor sustainable.

The prioritization of thinner and cheaper devices by electronics companies an consumers alike has made many of today’s electronic devices almost impossible to recycle, the Huffington Post reports.

In today’s system, ‘recycling’ used electronics often entails shredding them to tiny pieces, leaving only few useful parts to recycle. Jim Puckett of the Basel Action Network explains that responsible recycling is expensive, which leads many electronics recycling companies to resort to outsourcing the process to developing countries.

To find out more about the challenges to responsible recycling, read the full article over at the Huffington Post.