MobileMuster, the product stewardship program of the mobile phone industry, has announced a free take-back trial to get Australians recycling more electronic waste.
The trial has a number of products in its sights, as research reveals that there are millions of different electronic devices in Australian homes that could be recycled, from old-school landline phones to the latest smart home gadgets and wearables.
The trial is being supported by the Federal Government’s National Product Stewardship Investment Fund, which provided funding to develop a business case to expand the scope of MobileMuster’s product capability.
The trial will look at recovery and participation rates, customer satisfaction and delivery of environmental benefits.
Assistant Waste Reduction and Environmental Management Minister Trevor Evans said the trial would play an important role in ensuring e-waste is properly recycled, including modems, routers, landline phones, smart home technology, wearables, gaming devices, tablets, mobile phones and accessories.
“MobileMuster has always been at the forefront of product stewardship innovation in Australia, and this is increasingly important as Australians recognise that their waste is a valuable resource whose value must be retained in the Australian economy,” he said.
“I encourage all Australians to get involved in this trial to ensure that our e-waste is properly recycled.”
According to the independent market research undertaken by IPSOS, Australians are storing a significant number of electronic devices they are no longer using, and recycling rates for these products are between three and 14 per cent.
“There are millions of devices being stored in our homes,” Head of MobileMuster Spyro Kalos said.
“If these devices are not going to be repaired or reused, then families should consider recycling them as part of the MobileMuster trial.
“MobileMuster provides a free, easy and secure recycling program that Australians know and trust.”
Telstra Regional Affairs and Sustainability Executive Jules Scarlett added that Telstra often receives questions from customers about how to dispose of e-waste.
“We’re pleased that by expanding our existing e-waste recycling program we’re giving our customers more ways to recycle their unwanted phones, modems and other devices in our stores,” she said.
“It helps them play a role in reducing their environmental impact which we know they really want to do.”
If successful, MobileMuster will use this business case as the foundation for a permanent model to expand the scheme with new brand owner members, and ensure more products are collected and recycled responsibly through the voluntary accredited product stewardship program.
The trial begins 10 May and will run for three months.