Nearly half of consumers think manufacturers should be responsible for recycling mobile phones
Hong Kong, 15 August 2016 – Consumers say mobile phonemanufacturers are releasing too many new models, according to a surveyGreenpeace East Asia commissioned across six countries. In all countriessurveyed, consumers were most likely to say that mobile phone manufacturersshould be responsible for providing people with the means to recycle theirphones, while 4 in 5 surveyed said that it was important that a new smartphonecan be easily repaired if damaged.
“The humble smartphone puts enormous strain on ourenvironment from the moment they are produced – often with hazardous chemicals- to the moment they are disposed of in huge e-waste sites,” said Chih An Lee,Global IT Campaigner at Greenpeace East Asia.
“Over half of respondents across the countries surveyedagree that manufacturers are releasing too many new models, many designed toonly last a few years. In fact, most users actually want their phones to
Mobile phones are some of the most frequently replaced ofall small electronics products. A United Nations University report in 2014showed that up to 3 million metric tonnes of e-waste is generated from small ITproducts, such as mobile phones and personal computers. This represents amassive waste of resources and a source of contamination from hazardouschemicals.
Key findings from the survey:
Chinese (66%) and South Korean respondents (64%) are morelikely to have ever had their phones repaired, compared to those in the US(28%) and Germany (23%).
Nearly half surveyed believe that mobile phonemanufacturers should be most responsible for making recycling accessible. Thissentiment was strongest in Germany (61%).
Except in Germany (86%), over 90% of respondents surveyedin all countries said that “designed to last” is an important feature of a newsmartphone.
4 in 5 respondents consider it important that a newsmartphone is not produced using hazardous chemicals.
4 in 5 respondents believe it is important for a newsmartphone to be easily repaired if damaged. This rises to as high as 95% inChina, 94% in Mexico and 92% in South Korea.
Apart from respondents in South Korea, the most commonreason for replacing their last phone was the desire for a more up-to-datedevice.
“We believe true innovation means gadgets designed to last,to be repaired and recycled. It is time for tech leaders to rethink the waythey make our electronics so that they are as innovative for our planet as theyare for our lives,” said Lee.
“If tech brands want to lead us into the future, they needto move towards closed-loop production and embrace the circular economy;something that can be good for their profits, for people and for the planet.”
Greenpeace East Asia conducted the survey as part of itsTrue Innovation campaign, which challenges the technology sector to embraceinnovation to protect our environment and our future.