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