In excess of 2.3 million mobiles are not being used and are lying about in Belgians’ drawers. The point was indicated on Tuesday in a survey produced by Gfk-Recupel, the association responsible for the collecting in and recycling of electrical appliances and bulbs. Last year, there were around 14.5 million portable telephones in Belgium – an average of three per household.
In total, Recupel estimates that 46 million electrical appliances – whether or not they work – are unused including a lot of portable telephones.
Recupel explains, “Numerous unused GSMs are lying around in our drawers and collect dust unnecessarily whilst they might actually prove to be useful, following reuse or recycling. Smartphones contain traces of gold, silver, platinum, copper and palladium.” The organisation goes on, “There are so many raw materials, which are inaccessible to the consumer, as they are in very tiny amounts, but are accessible to some recycling centres. Such centres can safely process this type of electrical appliance to obtain the raw materials from them.”
Some 55% of consumers keep their unused GSM in the event that they need an emergency device. A third of them (31%) think that that there is no urgency to recycle their device. Many consumers (24%) are reluctant to be separated from their GSM, as it contains all of their data.
In 2017, 8% of mobile telephones were discarded. Recupel statistics indicate that, of these, some 33% could have been reused and 64% had reached the end of their useful lives.