Vodafone collects 500 mobile phones for recycling

Vodafone Malta Limited has collected more than 500 mobile phones since it started its collection of used handsets for recycling last July.

The company is giving away Lm1 of free talk-time for every mobile handset returned to its retail outlets.

Vodafone Malta is conducting this project through Fonebak, a handset-recycling scheme operated by recycling partners Shields Environmental. Fonebak's aim is to re-use as many of the returned phones as possible. Where this is not possible, the handsets are broken down for component and material recycling.

"Vodafone is keenly aware of its responsibility towards protecting the environment. If disposed carelessly, mobile phones have a potential to create pollution, particularly through emissions of greenhouse gasses and other environmental pollutants such as CFCs and HFCs," Vodafone's chief executive officer Joe Grioli said at Vodafone's retail outlet in Birkirkara.

He said Vodafone was committed to tackling this issue and would continue to encourage everyone, not just Vodafone customers, to hand in their old handsets for recycling.

"I would also like to see the handset recycling scheme extended to our competitors," Mr Grioli said.

The project forms part of a global programme by the Vodafone Group, with similar programmes being run in 14 out of the 16 countries where Vodafone operates, including Malta. Over the past year Vodafone has collected some 1.5 million phones worldwide.

The success of Vodafone's Save The Environment For Our Children - Recycle Your Mobile Phone project will also benefit YMCA Valletta, which will be receiving all the revenue generated from mobile phone reuse and recycling.

YMCA's Jean Paul Mifsud thanked Mr Grioli and said the money would be useful for YMCA to give a better service to the community.

The NGO addresses the needs of various client groups ranging from troubled families, victims of domestic violence, homeless individuals and people living in substandard accommodation.

Around Lm2,000 are given for every tonne of used mobile phones and around 30,000 mobile sets are imported to Malta yearly.

Environment Minister George Pullicino said Vodafone had set a very positive precedent in Malta, establishing a programme which was actively tackling the waste problem in our country. "Vodafone has been recycling paper, printer and photocopier toner used in its offices," he added.

The minister said the government would follow the example, expressing his hope that ministries and departments would be recycling used paper and toner by the end of next year.

Further information about Vodafone's recycling project can be obtained by calling 247 from a Vodafone mobile phone or 2148 2820 from any other phone.

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