Use it or recycle it.

Thu 30 May 2019

What are you doing with your old mobile?

Many of us have them, we move onto the new one and the old one simply makes its way into the bottom draw. Mobile phones are what I am talking about. Do you have one stored away at home? We estimate that most Australian households have at least two of old mobiles that they are no longer use. With an estimated 25 million stored across the country, now is the time to take action, time to use them or recycle them. It’s simple.

Even though storing them is not causing any damage to the environment perse, the value in extending the life of the device or recycling it with MobileMuster is good for the environment. The greatest environmental benefit is in the valuable resources that can be recovered from the devices. Our recycling process ensures that all of the materials that have gone into making the mobile phone can be used again and again.

If we were to simply recover the broken and no longer working phones of the ones stored, roughly 5 million devices, the environmental benefits are significant. Greenhouse gas emissions alone would prevent the equivalent of 1,840 tonnes of CO₂ emissions. Greenhouse gases have a negative effect on the earth’s climate by absorbing and emitting heat and in turn warming the planet. When you recycle your old mobile you help save CO₂ emissions from entering the atmosphere.

The second impact comes from conserving mineral resources equating to 9,850 tonnes of mineral resources. There are a number of materials, including aluminium, copper, gold, silver, cobalt and lithium, that need to be extracted and processed to make a new mobile phone. Through recycling and using the materials more than once, we can conserve these minerals by reducing the need to continue mining for virgin material.

Overall, recycling all those phones would have the equivalent environmental benefit of planting 50,000 trees. A big number by any standard. The number of trees planted measures the environmental benefit of recycling equivalent to the carbon sequestered or stored by trees. Trees are good for the environment because they absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen.

Not ready to recycle it, then think about reusing it. There are three simple ways that you can reuse your mobile. Selling it – a great way to recover some of the initial outlay of buying the device. With mobiles more expensive than ever before, there are many of us who are are happy to buy a device that is one or two years old. Selling the device within the first two years will recoup the greater amount of value. After four years, the value drops significantly.

What about passing it on to family of friends?  More of us are passing them on, who you pass it onto depends on who you are. Younger mobile phone users tend to pass them on to friends, 25-39 year olds are passing them to their parents, whereas 40-64 year olds are passing them on to their kids. It doesn’t matter who gets to use it, the simple act of giving is a great way to extend the use of a mobile.

Or maybe trade it in with your network provide if you are looking at upgrading your handset. They all offer it, and it is a great way of making some money that you can put towards your new phone and monthly bill.

Don’t let data stop you from passing them on or selling them. There are a heap of resources online to help you better manage your data. MobileMuster recently developed two how to videos that take you through the steps. Visit our data management page to view the videos along with additional resources and tips to help you along the way.

Kicking off in June you will start to see advertising encouraging you to “Use it or Recycle it”, MobileMuster’s new campaign will give you a nudge to think about what you are doing with your old mobiles. Spread the word, time to use it or recycle it. Easy.