Environmental Protection

Nokia Survey Uncovers Cell Phone Recycling Gap

Only 3 percent of people recycle their mobile phones despite the fact that most have old devices lying around at home that they no longer want, according to a global consumer survey released by Nokia.

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.

The survey is based on interviews with 6,500 people in 13 countries including Finland, Germany, Italy, Russia, Sweden, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, United States, Nigeria, India, China, Indonesia, and Brazil. It was conducted to help Nokia find out more about consumers' attitudes and behaviors toward recycling and inform them about the company's take-back programs and efforts to increase recycling rates of unused mobile devices.

"If each of the three 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. By working together, small individual actions could add up to make a big difference," said Markus Terho, director of Environmental Affairs, Markets, at Nokia.

The survey revealed that one of the main reasons why so few people recycle their mobile phones is because they simply don't know that it is possible to do so. In fact, up to 80 percent of any Nokia device is recyclable and precious materials within it can be reused to help make new products such as kitchen kettles, park benches, dental fillings, or even saxophones and other metal musical instruments. Globally, half of those surveyed didn't know phones could be recycled like this, with awareness lowest in India at 17 percent and Indonesia at 29 percent, and highest in the United Kingdom at 80 percent and 66 percent in Finland and Sweden.

Nokia has collection points for unwanted mobile devices in 85 countries around the world, the largest voluntary scheme in the mobile industry, the company said.

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