With an estimated 15 million mobile handsets being discarded and replaced in the UK every year, one mobile phone recycling specialist, Regenersis, has launched a charge for a set of industry standards to regulate this growing area.
A research study conducted by Regenersis found that out of a 2,000-strong random sampling of dumped handsets, 99% still included some form of personal data such as text messages, video content, contact lists and so on.
The firm has operated a ‘no landfill’ policy since 2004, and where possible remarkets or recycles components from the bulk of the units it receives, however it claimed an established set of standards would protect both consumers and the environment.
The proposed standards would ensure that personal data was removed and wiped on receipt, that working handsets would be segregated at source and not shipped to developing economies, and that all non-working,non-repairable components would be recycled in the UK.
“The reuse and recycling market is becoming more crowded and we want to ensure that the [end user], when making a choice of recyclers, is making an informed and responsible decision,” said managing director Mark Franklin.
Upcoming changes to the Restriction of Hazardous Substances directive are also expected to have an impact on the channel, as explored by MicroScope at the end of last year, with greater responsibility being placed on resellers to ensure that IT kit complies with safety standards throughout its lifetime.