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Mobile Phone Manufacturers Drop Ball On Recycling

Only three 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 today.

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 findings highlight that despite the fact that people on average have each owned around five phones, very few of these are being recycled once they are no longer used. Only 3% said they had recycled their old phone. Yet very few old devices, 4%, are being thrown into landfill. Instead the majority, 44%, are simply being kept at homes never used. Others are giving their mobiles another life in different ways, one quarter are passing on their old phones to friends or family, and 16% of people are selling their used devices particularly in emerging markets.

Globally, 74% of consumers said they don’t think about recycling their phones, despite the fact that around the same number, 72%, think recycling makes a difference to the environment. This was consistent across many different countries with 88% of people in Indonesia not considering recycling unwanted devices, 84% in India, and 78% of people in Brazil, Sweden, Germany and Finland.

Many people interviewed for the survey, even if they were aware that a device could be recycled, did not know how to go about doing this. Two thirds said they did not know how to recycle an unwanted device and 71% were unaware of where to do this.

The survey is based on interviews with 6,500 people in 13 countries including Finland, Germany, Italy, Russia, Sweden, UK, United Arab Emirates, USA, Nigeria, India, China, Indonesia and Brazil.

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