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Australia faces mobile phone recycling crisis

Monday, December 9, 2013 - 14:29:44

A new report from MobileMuster has found that up to 23 million old handsets are currently gathering dust in the homes of Australians, all of which could, potentially, be recycled for the benefit of the environment and the owner, according to MacWorld.

This figure is likely to continue to increase over time because analysts found that most consumers in Australia tend to hand onto their mobile phones when they upgrade to a new one.

People are convinced to upgrade regularly due to sales and special offers, but this leaves a mountain of unwanted devices Down Under, which is an issue that needs to be addressed sooner rather than later.

Close to a quarter of a million mobiles are imported to Australia weekly, with 30 million active subscriptions held by its citizens. This is significantly higher than the total population of the country, which means that many people own two or more phones, just as is the case in the UK.

The study looked at why people choose to hold onto older devices, with many keeping them handy in case their new mobile is lost, stolen or damaged.

However, experts believe that recycling levels could still be improved and for the phones which cannot be resold or reused there is still hope, as about 90 per cent of the internal components and materials can be reclaimed and turned into new products.

Mobile phone recycling in the past decade and a half has helped Australia lower carbon emissions, equating to the equivalent of 2,300 cars being taken off the road, according to report spokesperson, Rose Read.

Recycling mobile phones is as important in Australia as it is in the UK and consumers can get some cash back for their old device if they sell it online.




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