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Phone recycling scheme gets major backing.

Friday 27 September 2002

A mobile phone recycling scheme designed to tie in with the incoming Waste from Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive (WEEE) will be supported by the major players of the UK telecom and retail industries when it is introduced next year. ‘Fonebak’ meets legislative guidelines set out by the WEEE, and will make it easier for consumers to safely dispose of obsolete mobiles. Disposed phones will be refurbished for resale in developing countries, or safely stripped of their potentially harmful component parts and recycled. Orange, Vodafone, T-Mobile, O2 and Virgin Mobile will back the programme, along with Currys, Dixons, The Link and PC World. Recent research has suggested that UK mobile users replace their models every 12-18 months, which represents a relatively quick life-cycle for electronic products. This statistic coupled with the high-usership of mobiles in the UK (around 40 million) shows the importance of a successful recycling scheme. The WEEE directive will look to reduce dangerous chemical waste in end-of-life products by apportioning responsibility to manufacturers. It is not yet know whether an additional cost to the consumer will be added on most electrical and electronic goods when the regulation is implemented.

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