Rethink Programme Launches at Mobile World Congress
Pioneering mobile phone return programme enables companies to offset the impact of the mobile usage and support sustainable recycling practices.
Feb 28, 2017
United Kingdom – Launching today at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Rethink offers companies a straightforward approach to becoming more responsible environmental stewards and joining the Circular Economy. For every mobile phone the companies use, Rethink will save one from e-waste dumps as well as responsibly recycling both the retrieved phone and the new phone when it comes to the end of its life.
Fueled by demand for gadgets, increasing numbers of consumers and decreasing usage time, ewaste volumes are increasing across the world. Hundreds of millions of the world’s ‘waste phones’ end up in countries that lack adequate recycling facilities, often in Africa and Asia. The recent UN Research Arm’s E-Waste Monitor Report found that China alone more than doubled its generation of e-waste between 2010 and 2015 to 6.7 million tonnes, up 107%.
In regions without suitable processing facilities mobile phones are often recycled by the informal sector, as the UN report found, however a lack of safety equipment and unsafe separation leads to environmental pollution, loss of valuable raw materials and a negative impact on human health. Also, lack of convenience, lack of incentives and an absence of suitable processing sites can be reasons for ewaste ‘dumping’.
The Rethink programme creates local employment whilst reducing hazardous waste and landfill, as mobile phones are purchased and often for the first time in those countries – brought to world-leading processing sites operated by Sims Recycling Solutions for secure and responsible recycling.
Closing the Loop Director Joost de Kluijver describes the philosophy behind the programme. “We believe the industry around mobile phones can and should become circular. For every mobile phone a company uses Rethink will save one from e-waste dumps. In collaboration with local partners, social enterprises have been created in emerging markets to collect scrap phones, leading to a reduction in e-waste and an increase in employment opportunities”.
Sims Recycling Solutions’ Jelle Slenters commented, “By reducing their mobile footprint, organisations participating in the Rethink programme become frontrunners for sustainable IT policies. We are enabling organisations to enter the Circular Economy ensuring that e-waste is managed appropriately”. He continued, “By joining Rethink, organisations help battle the global e-waste mountains and at the same time gain measureable CSR results; increased employment, less pollution and higher rates of recycling. Participants are role models. This is the perfect first step for any company to introduce circularity into their business”.
Rethink is a collaboration between Sims Recycling Solutions (www.simrecycling.com) , the global leader in Secure IT Asset Disposition (ITAD) and Electronics Recycling Services and Netherlands-based social enterprise Closing the Loop (www.closingtheloop.eu).
Press Contact: Kristine Kearney, EU ITAD Marketing Manager: Kristine.firstname.lastname@example.org