Smartphone manufacturer Vivo Mobile has joined the mobile telecommunication industry’s recycling program and product stewardship scheme MobileMuster.
Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association Chief Executive Officer Chris Althaus said the program recovers over 95 per cent of the material in a mobile phone, which is then reused to manufacture new products.
“The mobile telecommunications industry is delighted to welcome Vivo Mobile to our world-class recycling program,” Mr Althaus said.
“Our members work together to ensure we keep old mobiles out of the general waste stream and recycle them in a responsible, secure and environmentally sound way, placing reusable commodities back into the supply chain.”
Vivo Mobile Chief Executive Officer Fred Liu said the company was excited to join the government accredited program, as it looks to enter the Australian market.
“Being part of this industry led initiative gives us great confidence that when our customers have finished using their smartphones along with any accessories, they will be recycled to the highest environmental standard,” Mr Liu said.
Since the MobileMuster program began in 1998, it has diverted more than 1400 tonnes of mobiles and accessories from landfill, including over 13 million handsets and batteries.
Mobile Muster is calling on Australians to recycle their old mobile phone after the program was showcased on the ABC’s War on Waste.
The national government accredited mobile phone recycling program is aiming to encourage Australians to take their phones out of storage and recycle them. The program is funded by all of the major handset manufacturers and network carriers to provide the free recycling system.
Mobile Muster says there are currently more mobile phones in storage than the number of people in the country and estimates that by 2028, that number will reach almost 30 million.
Research shows that three out of four Australians are aware that they can recycle their phones, with Mobile Muster aiming to educate people on how they can recycle responsibly through its program.
Consumer awareness campaigns run by Mobile Muster highlight the environmental and social importance of recycling phones.
It also works closely with councils, workplaces, retailers and schools to raise awareness of mobile phone recycling, while also partnering with charities to give mobile users an added incentive to recycle their phones while doing good for communities.
Mobile Muster has established more than 35000 drop off points across Australia and have an agreement with AusPost where phones can be posted for free to be recycled.
Almost $45 million has been invested to develop a solid collection network and awareness campaigns over the last 20 years.
The program recycles 99 per cent of the material from phones and accessories, including glass, plastics and metals, reducing the need for virgin materials.
Mobile Muster Manager Spyro Kalos said most Australians know that we shouldn’t throw their phones in the bin, but many people hang on to them just in case they’re needed which often leads to them being forgotten in a draw.
“We know that recycling can be confusing sometimes, so we cut through that by providing a free and simple way for people to easily recycle their mobile phones. To date, we’ve recycled over 1,300 tonnes of mobile phones and accessories, including 13 million handsets and batteries. But there is always more to do,” he said.
“With millions of phones lying dormant at home, the e-waste problem is getting bigger and we all need to be talking about it more. Mobile phones can and should be recycled when they reach the end of their lives. We can all do our part to fight the war on waste, and it starts at home. That’s why we’re calling all Australians to find their old phones and recycle them the right way – today,” said Mr Kalos.