Old mobile phones are opening up a market for new business opportunities in Singapore.
Almost 100 per cent of the materials in mobile phones can be recycled, such as precious metals, plastics and glass. For example, last year, Nokia recycled about 38 tonnes of “e-waste” in the region.
Globally, it is estimated that 44 per cent of old mobile phones are lying in drawers at home and not being recycled, providing potential for players to utilise and recycle the resources.
In the region, some industry players said that the area with the most participation from consumers coming forward to recycle their phones is Australia, but public participation in Asia is also on the rise.
Francis Cheong, senior sustainability manager for Southeast Asia Pacific at Nokia, said: “We started recycling programmes in Asia, some time in year 2000, and over the years, we have actually seen an increase in the number of public members coming forward to take part in the programmes. Although it is slow, but yes, it is increasing, for example last year, we saw an increase of up to more than 50 per cent of people coming forward to recycle their phones.”
Materials from old mobile phones can be turned into plastic pallets, pipes and even furniture.
In fact, some industry players said that recycling the gold from 80,000 phones can create one gold bar.
But sustainability for phone providers is not just about recycling materials. Some are also repositioning factories to be closer to markets and cut their carbon footprint.
Neil Gordon, vice president (Sales for Southeast Asia Pacific) at Nokia, said: “We are building factories closer to the growth markets…With a scale that Nokia has, we will soon have 10 factories located around the world. (We) recently (announced) a new factory in Vietnam. One of the reasons we chose that location, of course, was proximity, also to our component suppliers. Again, we could make use of road transportation as opposed to flying components around the world, and again reducing our carbon footprint.”
If you are in the UK and fancy recycling your old phone, pop on to moneyforyourphone.com and receive up to £350.00 for your mobile phone.