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. Only fraction of people recycle old mobile phones: study

by Staff Writers
Helsinki (AFP) July 8, 2008
Only three percent of mobile phone users recycle their old handsets and 74 percent have never even considered doing so, a study published Tuesday by the world's leading cell phone maker Nokia showed.

"It is clear from this survey that when mobile devices finally reach the end of their lives ... very few of them are recycled," Markus Terho, Nokia's director of environmental affairs, said in a statement.

"Many people are simply unaware that these old and unused mobiles lying around in drawers can be recycled or how to do this," he added.

The survey, based on interviews with 6,500 people in 13 countries including China, Finland, India and the United States, indicated that half of cell phone users did not even know old mobile devices could be recycled.

"If each of the three billion people globally owning mobiles brought back just one unused device we could save 240,000 tonnes of raw materials and reduce greenhouse gases to the same effect as taking four million cars off the road," Terho said.

Nokia said people on average owned around five phones each, adding that between 65 and 80 percent of each of its devices could be recycled.

They "can be reused to help make new products such as kitchen kettles, park benches, dental fillings or even saxophones," the Finnish mobile phone giant said.

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