KARACHI: On Wednesday, 13 Oct. 2010, Nokia Pakistan initiated a mobile phone recycling campaign across Pakistan to encourage mobile users to recycle their used mobile phones with Nokia, regardless of the make of the redundant sets.
Nokia and other leading mobile companies have launched a worldwide mobile phone recycling programme in order to protect environment on one hand and make the used mobile sets to put to good use with economic benefits. Speaking at a discussion organized by Nokia, Adeel Hashmi, country Communications manager Nokia Pakistan and Afghanistan elaborated that people can bring their used mobile phones back for responsible recycling to around 5,000 Nokia Care Points located in 85 countries and now Pakistan has become 86th country in the world where Nokia has launched its recycling program.
Raw Materials for Different Products: “Various studies indicate that unused equipment can be found in many consumer desk drawers,” said Adeel Hashmi, “If every Nokia user recycled just one phone at the end of its life, together we would save nearly 125,000 tons of raw material,” he added.He explained that mobile devices and accessories contain raw materials which can be reused in many ways for example to make new parts for bikes, kettles, or even dental fillings. All materials in Nokia mobile phones can be used again to make new products or generate energy, so nothing is wasted.only 3% of people owning mobile devices claim to recycle their mobile devices. If all of the around 4.6 billion people using mobile phones globally recycled at least one of their unwanted mobile devices this could save 370,000 tonnes of raw material and reduce gases to the same extent as taking 6 million cars off the streets.
Nokia Customer Care Centres: Nokia has nine customer care centres in Pakistan where people can drop-off old mobile phones which are no longer in use. After being collected in Lahore, the mobile phones will be shipped to Hungary where a recycling company is already processing mobile phones brought in from 85 other countries. When asked about the establishment of a recycling unit in Pakistan, Nokia explained that transporting it outside Pakistan is less costly than actually maintaining the plant here. Nokia isn’t accepting only Nokia made mobile phones models, but also Samsung, Siemens and other mobile makes are also encouraged to be dropped into Recycle Boxes. Moreover, customers can drop old mobile batteries, mobile chargers or any other mobile accessories in drop boxes too. Nokia’s “Take Back” program will have recycle boxes at all 9 Nokia Care centers across the country. Along with, there would be 400+ collection points and a mobile van in Karachi to serve urban mobile market.
Disposing Mobile Sets for Money: Starting a mobile phone recycling programme in a country where no such facility exists is indeed a noteworthy accomplishment but it is difficult to gauge whether it will be met with success. With vibrant markets for used mobile phones in major urban centres, the typical mobile user is likely to dispose of not-in-use sets in exchange for monetary return – even if it is a few hundred rupees. Moreover, mobile phone repair shops are often willing to purchase ‘dead’ mobile phones for a fraction of the price on hopes of salvaging usable parts. A simple search on Google also reveals that many companies in other countries offer token amounts in return for turning in old mobile phones for recycling in order to incentive the practice.
Consumer Awareness: To raise consumer awareness and encourage people to recycle their old mobile devices Nokia runs regular recycling campaigns around the world. These offer many different ways to bring back the mobile devices such as offering pre-paid postal envelopes or using highly visible collection boxes placed in stores and other public locations. He said that there are clear business benefits in being environmentally responsible. It improves risk management, often makes good economic and business sense, and reinforces the brand. According to a global consumer survey conducted by Nokia, only three per cent of mobile users recycle their mobile phones while 74 per cent said that they do not even think about recycling their mobile phones. Moreover, a whopping 50 per cent were not even aware that it was possible to recycle mobile phones. However, for society’s betterment, Nokia said that it will re-invest money saved through recycling, which ultimately will help company bring better devices at low cost.
Barriers in Mobile Recycling: “We want to help overcome some of the barriers to recycling phones,” said Nokia Care Manager Reza Burney. He said that many people worry about losing numbers, photos and other sensitive information but pointed out that there are ways to safeguard such data and asserted that Nokia is working to raise awareness of these methods. Although Nokia declined to comment on the response they hoped to receive in Pakistan, Burney was hopeful that more and more people would make use of the facility as they became more aware of environmental issues.
The Recycling Process: It is important that the materials that have been used for your phone can be safely recycled when the phone is no longer needed. We choose eco-efficient third party recycling companies to take care of the recycling of our products. 65-80% of the materials in a Nokia mobile phone can be recycled and given a second life. Best practices can recover 100% of the materials, partly as energy. To help recycling the cover parts of our phones are clearly marked as recyclable. Efficient recycling starts by getting the products back and consolidating, sorting, and pre-treating them. We put a lot of effort in take-back and recycling supplier selection to ensure efficiency and the highest environmental benefit, following relevant health and safety standards. We have a network of recycling vendors worldwide who operate in accordance with our standards. The network consists of close to 80 recycling facilities globally.
The Environmental Impacts of Recycling: A study by Nokia has shown that the energy consumption and the resulting CO2 emissions in the last phase of the product’s life cycle are relatively low. The average amount of CO2 emissions from WEEE-standard recycling of 100 tonnes of electronic waste is 20 metric tonnes. The refinement of recycled materials uses up to 85% less energy than the processing of a corresponding amount of virgin materials. As a result of avoided manufacturing phases, it can be estimated that the recycling of materials reduces CO2 emissions in the manufacturing phase by 20 %. On the average, the downstream transport accounts for 30% of the CO2 emissions of recycling, pre-treatment for 15% and transport from the consolidation point to recycler for 55%. When the collection phase (end user activities, i.e. the user bringing the phone to the recycling point) is included, it dominates the CO2 emissions of the end-of-life phase, leaving less than 3% to the recycling operations and logistics. This result is based on a rather modest assumption where 50% of users drive 5 km to the take back point – in reality, the figures may be higher. This is why take-back locations need to be close to consumers, and bringing used products to take-back points should be made easy. The CO2 emissions at end-of-life can be minimised by optimising transport in both inbound and outbound logistics. This effort should not sacrifice the use of state-of-the-art recycling to keep the environmental impact of these processes in control.
Reduced Packaging: Adeel said “during the years of 2006-2008 we have reduced the size of our packaging and used more recycled materials to make it. This has enabled us to reduce the use of paper based materials by almost 100,000 tonnes. This translates not only into financial savings of 474 million Euros but less packaging also means reduced transportation volume enabling us to take at least 12,000 trucks off the roads.”