Electronics Waste: Recycling of Mobile Phones
Post-Consumer Waste Recycling and Optimal Production
exchanged for a discount on a new phone. Many consumers hang on to their old phones for
the sake of emotional attachment.
For the majority of the consumers the concept of recycling is not clear. For most people
recycling means getting some value out of something that has become useless. The findings
implied that any communication around recycling needs to be very short and simple and
emotional and social rather than rational. Rational messages are more likely to put
consumers in a skeptical frame. Taking care of the environment should be linked to doing
one’s duty for society: either the future of children or healthy environment for the family. In
India the results indicated that engaging women & youth should be the main focus for
communication efforts. The last important learning is that the take-back initiative should
make consumers understand that this initiative is a ‘process’, ‘a way of thinking’ rather than
a ‘scheme’ to ensure the continuity of the action. (Singhal, 2010)
4.3 Expanding the program and building partnerships
After setting up a basic infrastructure for recycling and starting to raise the consumer
awareness on recycling possibilities the program can be expanded in cooperation with
different partners. Nokia aims to learn from each of the recycling program and develop the
programs to be more attractive, convenient and efficient. Recycling programs are being
done in cooperation with telecom operators, retail chains, environmental NGOs and with
schools and universities. These are the partners that can help in getting the programs closer
to the people so that they are convenient to use and also help to raise the awareness of
recycling by education.
Nokia started a recycling program in China already at the end of the 2005. The program was
launched together with the teleoperator China Mobile and with Motorola. The next year six
other mobile phone manufactures joined the program. The program has been growing every
year, it started with 40 big cities and 1500 recycling location and after six years it covers
already 300 cities. Program has collected more than 160 tons of e-waste by the end of 2010.
Different activation methods have been used over the years, from prepaid phone cards, eco-
friendly shopping bags and tree planting. Experience van has also been used to spread the
message to smaller cities that were not included in the program. In Latin American
countries recycling programs started in 2006 in Mexico in cooperation with telecom operator
Telefonica. Cooperation has expanded to other countries Peru, Brazil, Chile, Columbia,
Ecuador and to Argentina (in cooperation with Claro). Latin American countries have
collected 375 tons of e-waste in these programs in the first four years. These programs are
good examples of how long term one must think when starting to communicate and operate
recycling program for consumers and how the working concept can be duplicated from one
country to another.
Nokia has also raised recycling awareness in cooperation with environmental NGO’s in
many countries. In Lebanon Nokia has been working in cooperation with The Association
for Forests, Development and Conservation (AFDC) to conduct recycling events in
universities. In United Arab Emirates there is collaboration with Emirates Environmental
Group (EEG) working with schools and corporations to raise the awareness level about
recycling. Posters created by a well-known film maker in UAE help to change children into
“recycling heroes”. Nokia India also made two educational books for children in
Related links:

The First Mobile Phone with a Built-In Camera
Mobile telephone history
Recycle Your Cell Phone
What to do with your old phones across Europe
Your child’s first smartphone
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