Despite the fact that nearly three-quarters of people said that recycling makes a positive difference to the environment, almost the same number don’t think about recycling their old mobile phones, with just three percent doing so.
Mobile phone junk is an increasing problem as many people strive for the latest handsets, and as phone companies encourage their users to upgrade handset every year. Nokia’s global study of 6,500 people in 13 countries (Finland, Germany, Italy, Russia, Sweden, UK, United Arab Emirates, USA, Nigeria, India, China, Indonesia and Brazil) found that nearly half didn’t know it was possible to recycle their old mobile phone.
On average, each person surveyed had owned five mobile phones. One in twenty of these is thrown away with the regular household waste, thus ending up in landfill, but nearly half just sit around at home even after use.
Nokia says that it’s working on improving its global take-back programmes and providing better information to consumers.
“If each of the three billion people globally owning mobiles brought back just one unused device we could save 240,000 tonnes of raw materials and reduce greenhouse gases to the same effect as taking 4 million cars off the road. By working together, small individual actions could add up to make a big difference,” said Markus Terho, Director of Environmental Affairs, Markets, at Nokia.
Up to 80% of any Nokia device is recyclable, according to the company, and can be used in the manufacture of a variety of other products (cue Eddie “the possibilities are endless” Izzard).
At least us Brits topped the awareness chart, with four in five saying they knew about mobile phone recycling. It’s even possible to help out a charity by recycling your old phones.
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