- Hans Weber
- December 1, 2023
Czechs have 12 million old mobile phones at home
In today’s world, mobile phones have become an essential part of our lives. They have replaced the need for multiple devices, from cameras and MP3 players to calculators and GPS navigators. However, with the rapid advancement of technology, new mobile phone models are being released every year, and people are buying them, leaving their old phones unused. This leads to the accumulation of electronic waste that is harmful to the environment.
According to a survey by Remobil, a Czech company that specializes in mobile phone recycling, there are 12 million old mobile phones in Czech households that are not being recycled. The average Czech person changes their mobile phone every three to 3.5 years, and about 8,500 phones are sold every day in the country, with the average price of one unit being CZK 8,800. This means that people are accumulating electronic waste that is harmful to the environment.
One of the main reasons why people keep their old phones is that they contain personal memories, such as photos, videos, and SMS messages. Some people also keep older devices in reserve, and others are concerned about misusing sensitive data on the phone. However, it is important to note that end-of-life phones can be recycled, either by electronics retailers or operators.
Despite this, Czechs hardly use this option. According to T-Mobile, less than one percent of phones sold to operators are returned for recycling. This is not just a problem in the Czech Republic but in all 36 countries where Deutsche Telekom operates. Each Czech person accounts for 15.7 kilograms of electronic waste annually, and in a year, the country produces about 11 kilotons of electronic waste from phones and small IT devices, including navigation devices, calculators, routers, and printers.
The need for many people, especially young people, to have a modern smartphone at all times puts a strain on the environment. Every person in the Czech Republic has up to 15.7 kilograms of electronic waste per year, and mobile devices account for more than a tenth of that. It is, therefore, important to raise awareness about the environmental impact of accumulating electronic waste and encourage people to recycle their end-of-life devices or offer them for reuse.
Some companies, such as T-Mobile and Vodafone, have initiated awareness campaigns to encourage people to recycle their old phones. For example, T-Mobile has prepared an awareness campaign called Zrecyklujtel, and Vodafone has been collecting end-of-life electrical equipment in their stores since 2005. They then invest the money from recycling in projects that support technologies with a positive social impact, such as the Záchranka, Echo, or Bright Sky apps.
In conclusion, accumulating electronic waste is harmful to the environment, and it is important to raise awareness about the impact of this accumulation. End-of-life phones can be recycled, and companies should initiate awareness campaigns to encourage people to recycle their old devices. By doing this, we can reduce our ecological footprint and promote a more sustainable environment.
Article by Prague Forum