Mobile phones are arguably the most popular household Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipments (WEEE) in the UK. It is estimated that there are around 90 million mobiles in circulation in the United Kingdom alone. This number is fast increasing because there are more and more people owning at least two mobiles and this could be because growing competition among mobile network providers is steadily driving down the costs of owning a mobile phone.
Other reasons for the prevalence of mobile phones in the UK include the following:
* The average age of mobile phone ownership in the UK is 8 years according to the Telegraph.
* Increased competition among mobile network providers is steadily driving down the costs of owning a mobile phone.
* It is hardly possible to find a single contract that satisfies all of the consumers' needs. For instance, a consumer might be satisfied with the SMS allowance on one package but the voice minutes allowance on another. This as well as falling contract acquisition costs is leading more people to own at least two mobile phone contracts.
* A new mobile phone model is manufactured at least every 12 months and this is causing consumers to upgrade to newer phone versions.
* Mobile phone contract tenures are typically between 18 or 24 months and consumers will upgrade or replace their old mobiles at the termination of an old contract. Many customers will do so before the expiration of a subsisting contract to take advantage of the release into the market of a newer phone model.
It is however disturbing that most of the old, used or unwanted mobile phone waste that arises from our constant demand for new mobiles are not taken care of. Only between 10 to 20 per cent of retired mobiles in the UK are being recycled and this increases the chance that the rest will end up in a landfill.
Mobile phone recycling is one very good way of ensuring that our old, used and unwanted mobiles are properly disposed off. In the UK there are a number of companies that are into mobile phone recycling. They usually offer cash incentive to encourage you to sell mobile phones that you no longer have a use for. Most of the mobile phones that you sell to these companies may not be useful in the UK but they begin a new life in the developing countries of the world where the cost of owning a new mobile phone is beyond the reach of many. These are exported while any that cannot be re-used are responsibly recycled and turned into other useful materials.
This way, mobile recycling helps protect our delicate environment from population from dumping Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipments (WEEE) in UK's landfills or waterways. Mobile recycling also contributes to improving the quality of several millions of lives of the people of countries in the developing world by making it easier and cheaper for them to communicate with their loved ones.