It seems handset makers and carriers aren’t doing enough to encourage mobile phone recycling, whilst at the same time it looks like many people have grown emotional attachments to their old mobiles.
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According to Business Week, the world’s largest phone maker, Nokia, has just released results of a survey that shows “only 3 per cent of people have ever recycled their old handsets”.
So after years of industry efforts, “three out of every four people added that they don’t even think about recycling their devices and nearly half were unaware that it is even possible to do so,” according to the Nokia survey, which had 6,500 interviewed in 13 countries.
And oddly, people aren’t throwing the phones away, either, as the survey found that on average, only 4 per cent of old mobiles are being thrown into landfill.
A significant proportion of old mobile phones, some 44 per cent in fact, are simply sitting around, in drawers, cupboards, workbenches – even under sinks or in car gloveboxes.
However the survey did find that monetary incentives offered by recyclers like do work, with some 16 per cent of people trying to sell their used devices, particularly in emerging markets, according to the report.
So, obviously, handset makers have a long way to go on increasing the recycling of phones.
According to Business Week, the pay-off for these companies and the environment could be huge. “If each of the three billion people globally owning mobiles brought back just one unused device we could save 240,000 tons of raw materials and reduce greenhouse gases to the same effect as taking 4 million cars off the road,” according to Nokia.