Mobile phones have grown in popularity like almost no other modern consumer product, so making sure we manage phones that are no longer needed is a critical step in ensuring we continue to care for our planet.
“This year’s RE:MOBILE annual report highlights the need to ensure these devices aren’t left in a drawer or worse, dumped in landfill, where toxic heavy metals can leach into the soil”, says Telecommunications Forum CEO Paul Brislen.
“The RE:MOBILE scheme reduces the environmental impact of unwanted mobile phones to create a circular economy, by re-using, refurbishing, and/or recycling devices and the valuable materials that each device contains,” says Brislen.
The RE:MOBILE product stewardship scheme allows Kiwis to donate mobile phones and accessories for re-use, refurbishment or recycling. Working with our recycling agent Swapkit, the RE:MOBILE scheme is administered by the TCF and supported by mobile partners 2degrees, One NZ and Spark.
“Each year, profit from the scheme goes to our charity partner Sustainable Coastlines, which works tirelessly to clean up our shorelines. This year alone they have planted more than 56,000 trees, helped clean 63 beaches and collected more than 40,000 litres of litter along the way.”
Customers can drop off unwanted phones and accessories such as charging units at one of the more than 480 collection points throughout New Zealand including retail outlets of 2degrees, One NZ, Spark, Resene and The Warehouse Group (Noel Leeming).
Following changes to the Waste Minimisation Act, the Ministry for the Environment has issued new guidelines for product stewardship schemes and the TCF is working to meet those new guidelines.
“This year we have begun work on the re-accreditation process in tandem with the current scheme,” says Brislen.