Reducing electronic waste

Collecting old phones for reuse and recycling

Old mobile phones are filled with precious materials. We’re working to unlock the value of our “junk”.

The challenge

When you buy a new mobile phone, the old one is often quickly forgotten. Some of these phones are properly discarded, but others may end up in landfills or are recycled in locations with dangerous working conditions.

Our approach

We’re working to reduce electronic waste (e-waste) from a variety of angles, including designing our phones to last longer and be easier to repair and dismantle. We’re also encouraging consumers to send back their old phones, plus supporting the collection of scrap phones in Africa for safe recycling.

Timeline

Now

What's next for Fairphone, e-waste and recycling?

6 July 2018 project update

In April 2018 we partnered with Alpha Assembly Solutions to begin research on the challenges of sourcing recycled materials in the electronics industry. We’ll start by examining tin, and then follow where the research takes us!

Our partners, Recell Ghana, are busy collecting more e-waste to recycle safely. Thanks to the continued support of Fairphone owners, we’re expecting to safely recycle four tons of e-waste in 2018.

We’re also continuing to make progress on responsible cobalt sourcing and recycling. Lighting company Signify (formerly known as Philips Lighting) and the Better Cobalt program are helping in our efforts to connect fairly-sourced cobalt to industry supply chains.

Recycling is worth it!

2 July 2018 project update

In July 2018 we extended our pilot cash-back program to apply to all phones returned using our recycling program. Recycling your phone is a great way to show you care about fairer electronics, and get a €45 discount on a Fairphone 2 for you or a friend.

A force for Good(all)

1 June 2018 project update

In June 2018 our recycling program joined forces with the Dutch publication, Genoeg Magazine, to increase the collection of mobile phones. Old phones sent back to us earned a €45 discount on a Fairphone 2 and half the proceeds from June and July will go to the Jane Goodall Institute to allocate to their community-centered habitat conservation projects.

Your old phone is calling – it wants a new life

Your old phone is calling – it wants a new life

Many of us, (around 400 million, by the third quarter of 2017) have a brand new phone that we’re getting to know, and an old…

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Collecting used phones, from Africa to Europe

Collecting used phones, from Africa to Europe

If you’ve been keeping an eye on our blog lately, you might be noticing a theme – we’re really interested in electronics recycling! In earlier…

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Recycling made even simpler

12 June 2018 project update

In 2017 we made it easier to recycle your phone with a super simple web-based form for requesting a shipping label. Learn more.

Closing the Loop: The garbage collectors of the mobile industry

Closing the Loop: The garbage collectors of the mobile industry

Tons of mobile phones are thrown away every year, in part because we replace them so frequently. Much of this electronic waste (e-waste) ends up…

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How we’re tackling e-waste with the Fairphone 2

How we’re tackling e-waste with the Fairphone 2

With the launch of the new Fairphone 2, the phone itself has gained significant attention for a few of the groundbreaking features that make it…

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Guest blog: Latest news on Ghana e-waste collection program

Guest blog: Latest news on Ghana e-waste collection program

To refresh your memory, Closing the Loop partnered with Fairphone early in 2013 to help us carry out a project to reduce electronic waste, particularly…

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Introducing the Fairphone Recycling Program

Introducing the Fairphone Recycling Program

Update:  Want to recycle your phone? We can help you if you’re from almost any European Union country. Go to our recycling page, and get started…

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Recycle your old phones

Help us safely recycle e-waste!

Together we can change the way products are made