Carrying forward its parent's environmentally-friedly 'Take Back' campaign to recycle e-waste to ensure safe end-of-life treatment of used devices, Nokia India has launhed the programme from today to encourage cell phone users to dispose of their used handsets and accessories, regardless of the brand, at recycling bins located at all Nokia priority dealers and Nokia care centres.
According to D. Shivakumar, vice president and managing director, Nokia India, the company had developed an elaborate recycling infrastructure with over 1,300 green recycling bins, installed at its centres across the country.
Shivakumar said that the company was working with qualified recyclers around the world to ensure proper end-of-life treatment of used devices
Nokia India said that for each such handset dropped into its recycling bins or Green Box (as part of Nokia's global Green-Box scheme), the company will plant a tree, apart from giving gifts to those who give away their old cell phones.
Nokia will begin by introducing the initiative from Delhi and then gradually roll it out in phases to the rest of the country.
End-of-life handsets contain many valuable materials which can be recovered and reused in manufacturing new products. Up to 100 per cent of the materials in an old phone can be reused in this way or used to generate power. In the best available recycling everything can be recovered from the mobile phone and nothing goes to landfill. However, research shows that nearly 50 per cent of used phones are not returned or even passed on to another user.
Therefore, Nokia started the eco-friendly Take Back in Finland in 2005. The design of the products and Nokia's repair network extend the lifetime of the products and thus reduce waste in the first place.
Recycling at Nokia starts by getting the products back and consolidating / sorting / pre-treating them to maximise the efficiencies of the recycling. This is why the company chose to emphasise the take-back aspect to get the old devices back and the recycler selection to ensure efficiency and environment, health and safety standards.
It has developed a network of recycling vendors worldwide who operate in accordance with Nokia standards. The manufacturer offers take-back in 85 countries, with several take-back points through more than 4500 service centers.
Return rates for mobiles are typically 3 per cent to 5 per cent in most collection schemes and Nokia says its greatest challenge is to raise awareness of the potential to return old phones and motivate people to do so.
In 2007 it ran major awareness campaigns in various markets:
- In China, Nokia has, on its own, recycled over 55 tons of obsolete materials, which equals roughly 550 000 devices. In addition it continues its Green Box scheme which began at the end of 2005, in conjunction with other manufacturers and China Mobile. Green Boxes to collect old phones are placed in China Mobile shops throughout the country. In 2007, about 500 Nokia Care Points also started to collect phones from users and China Mobile began to give prepaid cards to consumers as an incentive. Over 80 tons of obsolete materials were collected during 2007, which equals roughly 800 000 devices. The Green Box take-back and recycling program has been extended to 11 Nokia suppliers in China, covering more than 50 000 employees.
- In Finland, where it had distributed 200 000 return envelopes at the end of 2006, it offered a donation of €2 to WWF for each phone returned. The campaign achieved a return rate of more than 11 per cent. Roughly 25 000 devices were collected during the campaign.
- In North America, Noia ran several campaigns in celebration of America Recycles Day on 15 November. All Nokia locations held collection events for employees and in Irving, Texas and Mountain View, California it included the community in the collection. In New York City it invited citizens to recycle their used handsets though our Flagship Store and set up a toll-free number through which people could request a postage-paid recycle bag. The community collection events produced over 16 tons of obsolete electronic materials for recycling, including over 7,000 phones. Additional events were held on Earth Day which resulted in over 50 tons of obsolete materials being recycled.
- Including a return envelope in the box with a new device has not proved effective. When it tested this in the US it achieved a return rate of less than 2 per cent. It now offers downloadable postage-paid return labels instead.
- In Chile and Peru it has been collecting phones in an agreement with Movistar, a major mobile phone operator owned by Telefónica Móvile. Over 3 tons of obsolete materials have been collected, which equals roughly 33,000 devices.
- In the Philippines, it has taken part in a national pilot project to collect obsolete mobile phones.
- In Malaysia it kicked off a recycling campaign in cooperation with a local retailer, giving consumers a 20-per cent discount voucher to buy enhancements or batteries in exchange for returned mobile devices.