It is estimated that up to 100 million phones are thrown away each year in Europe alone. With the average user holding onto their handset for 18 months, and only 15% of these recycled, the carbon footprint from our portable friend is extremely high.
With the exception of a few ‘novelty’ handsets such as Samsung’s Blue Earth and LG’s proposed mirasol devices, few products have any environmentally friendly features. From the choice of phone materials, to energy efficiency and recycling programmes, manufacturers have plenty of work to do to promote greener practices within the industry.
Technology Moves On
With consumer demand for environmentally sustainable phones growing there are signs that the tide is beginning to turn. Whilst it is unlikely that we will see a production line of entirely ‘green’ mobile phones in the near future, many will have sustainable components and features built in.
Solar powered technology has come on leaps and bounds in the last decade. Samsung’s Blue Earth handset requires no recharging from an AC outlet and the device itself has been manufactured from recycled bottles.
Service Providers Play Key Role
Service Providers are also starting to play a more significant role. They interact with consumers far more frequently than manufacturers and recycling programmes; reduced packaging and paperless billing are all measures that are slowly being implemented.
As for the company or individual, recycling those old handsets is the most common way of being a greener mobile phone user. If you can resist buying that latest model and include the packaging in your recycling it’s a solid step on the way to being a bit more eco-friendly.
To find out more about recycling mobile phones and other waste electronic equipment, visit WeeeCare.