A recent survey conducted by Nokia found that only 3% of people recycle their mobile phones despite the fact that old devices are often just lying around at home. Nokia also reported that 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.
Based on interviews with 6,500 people in 13 countries including Brazil, China, Finland, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Nigeria, Russia, Sweden, U.K., United Arab Emirates and the United States, Nokia said it initiated the survey to find out about consumers’ attitudes and behaviors toward recycling, and inform the company’s take-back programs and efforts to increase recycling rates of unused mobile devices.
“It is clear from this survey that when mobile devices finally reach the end of their lives that very few of them are recycled. Many people are simply unaware that these old and unused mobiles lying around in drawers can be recycled or how to do this,” said Markus Terho, director of Environmental Affairs and Markets at Nokia, in a statement. “Nokia is working hard to make it easier, providing more information and expanding our global take-back programs. If each of the 3 billion people globally owning mobiles brought back just one unused device, we could save 240,000 tons of raw materials and reduce greenhouse gases to the same effect as taking 4 million cars off the road.”
While the survey only found that 3% of people are recycling their old phones, it also found that only 4% are throwing them away. Instead, 44% have devices lying around at home that are never used; 25% of respondents said they give away old handsets to friends or family; and 16% of people resell old devices.
Terho continued in the statement: “Using the best recycling technology, nothing is wasted. Between 65% to 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.”