Only 3% of people recycle their old mobile phones even
though most have old devices lying around at home that they no longer want,
according to a survey released by Nokia.
Three out of every four people added that they don't even
think about recycling their devices and nearly half were unaware that it is
even possible to do so.
The survey was based on interviews with 6,500 people in 13
People on average have each owned around five phones, very
few of these are being recycled once they are no longer used. Yet very
few old devices, 4%, are being thrown into landfill. Instead the majority, 44%,
are simply being kept at homes never used. Others are giving their
mobiles another life in different ways, one quarter are passing on their old
phones to friends or family, and 16% of people are selling their used devices
particularly in emerging markets.
Globally, 74% of consumers said they don't think about
recycling their phones, despite the fact that around the same number, 72%,
think recycling makes a difference to the environment. This was consistent
across many different countries with 88% of people in
not considering recycling unwanted devices, 84% in
and 78% of people in
The survey showed that one of the main reasons why so few
people recycle their mobile phones is because they simply don't know that it is
possible to do so. Globally, half of those surveyed didn't know phones could be
recycled like this, with awareness lowest in
at 17% and
at 29%, and highest in the
at 80% and 66% in
Using the best recycling technology nothing is wasted.
Between 65 - 80 per cent 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, notes Nokia.
Many people interviewed for the survey, even if they were
aware that a device could be recycled, did not know how to go about doing this.
Two thirds said they did not know how to recycle an unwanted device and 71%
were unaware of where to do this.
Nokia has collection points for unwanted mobile devices in
85 countries around the world, the largest voluntary scheme in the mobile
industry. People can drop off their old devices at Nokia stores and almost
5,000 Nokia Care Centers. To find their nearest take back point people can
Responding to the survey findings Nokia is developing a
series of campaigns and activities to give people more information on why, how
and where to recycle their old and unwanted devices, chargers and mobile
accessories. The company is also expanding its global take-back program by
adding many more collection bins and promoting these in store to raise greater