MOBILE PHONES are dumped most regularly by consumers as they continually seek to upgrade their handsets, new research by GMI Poll suggests.
By 2005, 100 million mobiles weighing approximately 250,000 tons will be thrown out annually in Europe alone, the researcher reckons. And the volume of disposed mobile phones is growing faster than the volume of waste overall, according to recycling experts. Toxins associated with this waste include heavy metals and poisons such as arsenic, lead, and mercury.
In the UK alone, 15 million handsets are discarded every year while others lie about gathering dust in a drawer and forgotten about.
While marketeers identify in this trend an opportunity to target 'Generation Eco', there are other possibilities. Marketing guru Allyson Stewart Allen, director, International Marketing Partners, says: "There is an opportunity for marketers to tap into 'Generation Eco' the young green early adopters that are tech savvy and planet conscious". She suggest handset makers should consider designing their handsets to make them recyclable to woo the environmentally conscious.
Meanwhile, a new UK website has launched, offering cash in exchange for second-hand phones.
Mopay says that if you send off your used phone - Freepost - to them they’ll send you a cheque in exchange. You can get a quote for your old phone online, before you send it in, and a cheque will arrive within an fortnight, they say.
And they’ll pay up to £40 for a Nokia 6310i in decent condition.
The site is the brainchild of Simon Walsh who says that, using an environmentally friendly process, Mopay recycles handsets and refurbishes them for resale to telecoms companies in the developing world.
What’s more, Mopay says it will donate 10 per cent of the sale price to the children’s charity, Childline.
"I thought of mopay.co.uk to enable mobile phone users to sell old handsets for guaranteed money within three easy steps with the on-line service, he told the INQUIRER, by email.
"There are three benefits to the seller, 1, the opportunity to earn some extra money, 2, help raise money for ChildLine, 3, help the environment by giving their old handset an extended life by not throwing it away..!
"If handsets are beyond economical repair they are broken down for parts or recycled within the most environmentally friendly manner, " he said.
Here’s the website www.mopay.co.uk . µ
Story seen at theinquirer .