Only 3 percent of people recycle their phones – Nokia Survey

Nokia Logo If that old mobile handset is lying in your drawers since so long that you have completely forgotten about it, then it is time that you take it out and atleast give it away for recycling. Are you asking, “Recycling?”.

Well, yes ‘recycling’. If you did not think about recycling your mobiles then the chances are that you one of the three out of every four that have never thought about it. Or are you unaware that your mobile too can be recycled?! Unfortunately, as much as half of the mobile using population too did not even know that recycling there mobile phone was possible. Bad news for companies and environmentalists!

A global consumer survey released by Nokia today reveals that only 3 percent of the total mobile phone users recycle their phones and the rests have their phones that they no longer intend to use, lying in their home.

6,500 people in 13 countries including Finland, Germany, Italy, Russia, Sweden, UK, United Arab Emirates, USA, Nigeria, India, China, Indonesia and Brazil were interviewed for the survey. Now with each person owning an average of 5 phones, the pile of everyone’s unused phones on this earth seems unimaginable!

The survey was conducted by Nokia to gather information on the consumer’s attitudes and behaviours towards recycling and how informed they were regarding the company’s take-back programme. The survey is an initiative by Nokia to increase the recycling rates of unused mobile devices.

Markus Terho, Director of Environmental Affairs, Markets, at Nokia said, “It is clear from this survey that when mobile devices finally reach the end of their lives that very few of them are recycled. Many people are simply unaware that these old and unused mobiles lying around in drawers can be recycled or how to do this. Nokia is working hard to make it easier, providing more information and expanding our global take-back programs.” He added, “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 4 million cars off the road. By working together, small individual actions could add up to make a big difference.”

According to the statistics Nokia has collected:

  • 88: percentage of people from Indonesia who do not think of recycling
  • 84: percentage of people in India who do not consider recycling
  • 78: percentage of people in Brazil, Sweden, Germany and Finland who do not consider recycling
  • 74: percentage of people who don’t think about recycling
  • 72: percentage of people who know that recycling will make a difference to the environment and yet don’t recycle their phones
  • 44: percentage of old devices are never used and simply kept at home
  • 16: percentage of people who sell their used phones in emerging markets
  • 5: the average number of phones people own
  • 4: percent of the devices thrown into landfill
  • 3: percentage of people who recycled their old phone
  • 1 quarter: pass their old phones to friends or family
  • Just 17% at India, Indonesia at 29%, and highest in the UK at 80% and 66% in Finland and Sweden are aware that their phones can be recycled too!

    The reason behind such low awareness is that people just simply don’t think that recycling is possible!

    As much as 80 percent of Nokia phones are recyclable and contain in ‘precious’ materials that can be used to new products like kitchen kettles, park benches, dental fillings or even saxophones and other metal musical instruments. Globally, half of those surveyed didn’t know phones could be recycled like this, with awareness lowest in India at.

    Terho said, “Using the best recycling technology nothing is wasted. Between 65 – 80 per cent of a Nokia device can be recycled. Plastics that can’t be recycled are burnt to provide energy for the recycling process, and other materials are ground up into chips and used as construction materials or for building roads. In this way nothing has to go to landfill.”

    Now that we have informed you, you can take out your old phones to turn them into beautiful new and more useful things. Now if you are wondering how to give them for recycling (as is the case in 71 percent of the consumers), Nokia has an answer for that too. You can just drop your devices at one of the collection points at Nokia Stores and Nokia Care Centres. You can get information about the nearest take back point by visiting