Jude Bolton and Andrew Gaze join MobileMuster

Tue 2 Apr 2024

E-waste is set to increase globally by a third, yet 1 in 2 Australians aren’t recycling unused mobile phones

As unused phones could fill 329 stadiums, Australia’s biggest mobile phone recycling scheme MobileMuster issues urgent call to recycle old phones. Joining the call are AFL commentator Jude Bolton and NBL legend Andrew Gaze.

Jude Bolton smiling Andrew Gaze holding several mobile phones

Two in five Australians are holding onto their old, non-functional mobile phones with only half the population considering recycling a mobile phone or phone accessories, according to a survey by MobileMuster, Australia’s mobile phone recycling program. The findings highlight the urgent need for increased awareness and action in addressing electronic waste (e-waste).

The research reveals that Australians collectively hoard a staggering 22 million phones, with nearly 14 million of them being reported as unusable or not working. To illustrate the scale of this issue, if every owner of a non-functional phone piled them together, they would fill 329 stadiums.

Globally, 62 million metric tons of mobile phones and devices were dumped in just one year. This is set to increase by a third by 2030. MobileMuster is urging Australians to recycle their old phones to reduce e-waste’s significant and growing environmental impact.

Notably, men aged above 45 years emerged as the group most likely to want to recycle their old phones, but just ‘haven’t gotten around to it’.

In a significant move to raise awareness and encourage action, basketball legend Andrew Gaze and AFL star Jude Bolton have partnered with MobileMuster to appeal to Australians to go through their drawers and take their old phones to a MobileMuster recycle point.

According to Andrew Gaze, Australian basketball legend and former player: “Mobile phones don’t belong in landfill, the oceans, or the bottom of your drawer. We can reduce emissions, keep waste out of the environment, and conserve resources by bringing old mobile phones to a MobileMuster collection point.”

Jude Bolton, AFL commentator and former AFL player, said: “Tackling e-waste is a team effort. So, let’s get everyone to get on board. Tell your mates that it’s time to recycle their old phones, they’re not using them, but someone else can. Let’s see if we can break a record for the highest number of phones donated in MobileMuster collections points.”

Louise Hyland, CEO of the leading telecommunications industry body Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) that manages MobileMuster, says that there is a critical need for Australians to improve their electronic recycling. Hyland believes, “The research showed that there are too many Australians leaving broken and non-functional mobile phones at the bottom of drawers. With nearly 14 million old and broken phones ready to be recycled, we have an opportunity to get more Australians to start a new habit: recycling their old phones when they upgrade to a new one.”

Another key concern is data security, which can make people think twice before recycling their old phones. Hyland continues, “MobileMuster takes data privacy seriously. We have implemented a number of safety measures to protect your data before it is destroyed in the recycling process, ensuring it can never be accessed. We also provide straightforward instructions so that you can erase data from your device in a few simple steps, before it’s donated for recycling.”

For information on how to erase an old phone, visit MobileMuster’s guidance for Android and iPhone Operating Systems (iOS).

Check out the video from Jude Bolton below.


For more information, please contact:

Georgie Mac Smith from Sefiani Communications

0408 642 248, gmacsmith@sefiani.com.au

[i] MobileMuster, AMTA MobileMuster campaign tracking results, 2023

[ii] Allianz stadium has a capacity of 42,500. 14m / 42500= 329.4

[iii] United Nations, Electronic waste rising five times faster than documented e-waste recycling: UN,  https://www.itu.int/en/mediacentre/Pages/PR-2024-03-20-e-waste-recycling.aspx, 21st March 2024