Only one in 10 people in the UK recycle their mobile phone,
according to new research by Nokia.
Two-thirds of respondents did not even think about recycling
their devices and nearly a fifth were unaware that it is even
possible to do so, the mobile giant said.
Despite these rather dismal figures, the UK fares much better
than most other countries. Globally, just three per cent of
people recycle their unwanted devices and nearly half are
not even aware that a mobile phone could be recycled.
"If all of the three billion people that own mobile phones
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 four million cars off the road" - said
Markus Terho, director of environmental affairs and markets
at Nokia. "It is clear from this survey that very few mobile
devices are recycled when they reach the end of their lives."
Nokia found that most people have owned an average of five
mobile phones, but that only nine per cent in the UK had recycled
their old phone. Nearly half keep their old mobiles at home
in a drawer and about a fifth pass them on to friends or family.
The rest are either resold, dumped into landfill or find another
According to Nokia, around 80 per cent of its devices are
made of recyclable and precious materials which can be reused
to make new products such as kitchen kettles, park benches,
dental fillings or even musical instruments.
"Plastics that cannot be recycled are burnt to provide energy
for the recycling process and other materials are ground-up
and used as construction materials or for building roads.
In this way, nothing has to go to landfill" - explained Terho.
The handset maker is encouraging customers to bring unwanted
phones to any of around 5,000 collection points in 85 countries
around the world. It is also developing a series of campaigns
and activities to give people more information on
why, how and where to recycle their old and unwanted devices,
chargers and mobile accessories.