Pilot campaign underway to promote reuse of end-of-life mobile phones rather than accumulating them in the home

The campaign is being carried out by Recyclia, in collaboration with the Government of Catalonia, Movistar, USody, Andrómines and the Fundación Trinijove.

Recyclia has launched an initiative to promote the recycling and reuse of mobile phones in Catalonia. The campaign, launched together with the Government of Catalonia and a number of companies and foundations specialising in the traceability and repair of these devices, aims to disseminate the benefits of this practice among users, given the widespread tendency to accumulate unused devices at home. It is estimated that five mobile phones are sold every minute in Catalonia, meaning that 2.5 million of these devices were acquired in 2020.

The campaign highlights the environmental benefits of reusing and recycling old mobile phones. Correct management of these devices saves 400 litres of water, prevents the emission of 30 kg of CO2 and saves 40 kg of raw materials per terminal.

The campaign, which began on 18 June, classifies the phones deposited in the Tragamóvil containers deployed by Recyclia in four Movistar shops in Catalonia into two groups – devices suitable for reuse and devices suitable for recycling. In the event that the condition of the device allows it to be reused, data erasure technologies will be used and the final destination of the terminals will be traced to ensure prolongation of service life.

Recyclia, through environmental foundation Ecoasimelec, is participating in collaboration with the Government of Catalonia, Movistar, USody, a company which will be responsible for the traceability of recycled devices, Andrómines, experts in the preparation for reuse of electronic waste, and the Fundación Trinijove, which specialises in the classification of devices.

The aim of the campaign is to encourage the participation of consumers and distributors in the collection of waste electronic and electrical equipment (WEEE).  In fact, current legislation establishes that retail outlets that sell electronic equipment must take responsibility for collection free of charge. The legislation also stipulates that reuse and extension of service life should be the priority for WEEE collected.

Mobile phones are largely made of non-renewable natural resources. Reusing and recycling these materials saves the extraction of new raw materials and reduces energy consumption in the manufacture of new devices.