In a recent worldwide survey, conducted by Nokia in accordance with the global consumer survey, it is found that only 3% of people recycle their mobile phones. The survey was conducted in 13 countries including Finland, Germany, Italy, Russia, Sweden, UK, UAE, US, Nigeria, India, China, Indonesia and Brazil, and 6500 people were interviewed. The survey was conducted to help Nokia find out more about consumers' attitudes and behaviors towards recycling.
Unawareness: The prime concern
Nearly half the people are even not aware of the fact that their mobile could be recycled. Two-third of the interviewers said they did not know how to recycle an unwanted device while 71% were unaware of where to do this. If each of the 3 billion mobile owners brought back just one unused device, even a mobile phone battery charger, 240 000 tonnes of raw materials can be saved and it will help reduce the greenhouse gases to the same effect as taking 4 million cars off the road.
The survey highlighted that on an average, each person own five mobile phones. 4% of these are being thrown into landfill and 44%, are simply being kept at homes never used. Some mobile phones are given another life, one-fourth are passed to friends or family, and 16% are sold in emerging markets.
74% of consumers don't think about recycling their phones, whereas 72%, think recycling makes a difference to the environment. The result was uniformly found in different countries with 88% of people in Indonesia not considering recycling unwanted devices, 84% in India, and 78% of people in Brazil, Sweden, Germany and Finland.
Helping the environment
80% of any Nokia device is recyclable. The precious materials within these devices can be reused to help make new products such as park benches, kitchen utensils, metal musical instruments or dental fillings. According to Markus Terho, the director of environmental affairs at Nokia, “Using the best recycling technology nothing is wasted. Between 65 - 80% of a Nokia device can be recycled. Plastics that can't be recycled are burnt to provide energy for the recycling process, and other materials are ground up into chips and used as construction materials or for building roads. In this way nothing has to go to landfill.”
Nokia has collection points for unwanted mobile devices in 85 countries around the world. People can drop off their old devices at Nokia stores and 5,000 Nokia Care Centers. To find their nearest take-back point, people can visit www.nokia.com/werecycle.