Of course, the used one. For this, AT&T is supporting the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Plug-In To eCycling National Cell Phone Recycling Week, which runs April 6-12. Motorola, LG, and Verizon are also serious. According to EPA, over 100 million cell phones are discarded annually; and, in 2007, only 10% were recycled.
The project brings together leading cell phone manufacturers and service providers to encourage consumers to recycle used cell phones, Personal Data Assistants (PDAs), cell phone batteries, chargers and other accessories. It also aims to reduce the amount of reusable materials in landfills, especially e-waste.
AT&T offers two ways to donate phones: Wireless customers of any carrier can drop off used cell phones and accessories at any of the 2,000-plus AT&T stores across the U.S. Or, they can download free shipping labels from http://www.att.com/wireless and mail them to Cell Phones for Soldiers (CPFS), a charity that recycles used cell phones and uses the proceeds to buy free phone cards for troops overseas.
As most big companies are showing deep concern for environment protection, Motorola is using an innovative way to make phones. Its MOTO W233 Renew is claimed to be the world’s first mobile phone made using plastics comprised of recycled water bottles. Designed for eco-conscious consumers, Renew is priced $9.99.
LG Electronics announced its “Life’s Good When it’s Green” initiative, which is the foundation of its global sustainability program. The program focuses on sustainability through eco-design and eco-products, reduction of hazardous materials, responsible electronics recycling and addressing global climate change.
Verizon also works on a similar initiative called Verizon Wireless’ HopeLine phone recycling program. With the collected phones, the company intends to support the victims of domestic violence.
The EPA’s call-to-action hits just weeks before AT&T will announce the results of its Earth Day Challenge with CPFS to help the charity double the number of mobile phones it collects –to recycle more than 1.8 million phones – between Earth Day 2008 and Earth Day 2009.
Phones recycled through AT&T stores, community drives, and online tools have added volume to the broader efforts of the CPFS recycling program, which has now collected more than a million total wireless phones since July 2007, says AT&T.
The company reveals an important fact. Recycling or reusing cell phones – which are made up of precious metals, copper, and plastics – prevents air and water pollution and reduces greenhouse gas emissions that occur during manufacturing. If every consumer recycled their cell phone, the country could save enough energy to power more than 18,500 U.S. homes for one year.