More than 300 old mobile phones were collected in just one week by Melita Limited as part of its sustainability awareness campaign last month.
Heartened by the feedback, Melita Limited has decided to reopen this scheme until the end of the year to encourage more customers to get on board the company’s mission to care for the environment.
Charlie Karakas, Senior Product Manager at Melita, said: “We were really encouraged by the number of people who came forward with their old handset to ensure these were properly recycled. It’s really important that old mobile phones or batteries are not thrown into normal rubbish bins as these end up degrading in landfills further polluting waterways and the sea when washed out by rain.”
He added: “Besides preventing pollution, recovering materials through recycling is increasingly necessary because of their scarcity. Although today there seems to be a never-ending abundance of new and affordable mobile phones, the significant amounts of earth elements used in mobile phones are rare.
“The estimated recycling rate for these elements is only one per cent worldwide so we need to start valuing those old handsets that are laying forgotten in our drawers.”
People change their phones every two to three years on average and unless properly disposed of, the electronic materials that make up each handset can have a detrimental effect on the environment.
The problem of e-waste is growing exponentially, and just this year alone, 5.3 billion mobile phones will be thrown away, according to the international waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) forum.
While this second round of its campaign will not be tied to a financial incentive, Melita feels this campaign is all the more important at this time of the year when many take up Black Friday offers to purchase a new handset or receive one over Christmas. As part of its commitment towards sustainability, Melita is ready to take on this responsibility and costs involved to properly help its customers recycle and dispose of their mobile phones. “Let’s look after the planet together,” Mr Karakas said.