MobileMuster, the official product stewardship program of the Australian mobile phone industry, has released their latest annual report titled ‘Mobile Australia: A report into how we use and recycle our mobiles’.
The aim of this report is to provide a snapshot of mobile phone recycling attitudes and behaviours in Australia and how the industry is leading the effort to ensure responsibility is being taken for their products.
Increasing awareness of the MobileMuster is a continual focus for the program. MobileMuster works with retailers, local governments, schools, workplaces, resellers and other recycling programs to ensure that everyone in Australia can help us keep their old mobile phones and accessories out of landfill and recycling them in a safe, secure and ethical way.
Independent market research conducted by MobileMuster reveals that whilst the community awareness of mobile phone recycling has reached 83%, people’s desire to keep their old mobile phones, instead of recycling them, only dropped slightly from 40% to 37% of people that have two or more unused mobiles at home. As a result the estimated number of handsets in storage at home or work has grown from 22 million to 23 million. On the upside, the percentage of people throwing their mobiles away remained low at 3%.
The duration consumers are owning their mobile phone has increased, now being at its highest level with 25% of Australians owning their mobile for 2+ years. The research shows that it’s the non-smartphone users that are more likely to keep their mobile phones for an extended period, 2 years or more.
Optisimising resource recovery and recycling materials properly is a high priority for MobileMuster. MobileMuster’s recycling rate (recovered materials) has increased three points to 96%. It complies with the Australia and New Zealand Standard for the collection, storage, transport and treatment of end-of-life electrical and electronic equipment (AS/NZS 5377:2013) and has been independently assured by PwC. As a result, in 2012-13 the materials recovered replaced the need to mine at least 2,270 tonnes of precious metal ores (such as gold, silver and copper).
The program’s diversion rate from landfill has reached 99% in the last financial year, with more than 199 kgs of cadmium and 226 kgs of lead being diverted from landfill. MobileMuster has recovered over 5.78 tonnes of plastic, 58 kgs of precious metals, 1.27 tonnes of aluminium, 1.78 tonnes of steel, 4.26 tonnes of copper and over 0.54 tonne of cobalt as raw materials.
MobileMuster is a unique product stewardship program that brings manufacturers and carriers together in what is considered to be a world-class voluntary and not-for profit program. It is managed by the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) on behalf of its members – Nokia, Samsung, Motorola, HTC, Huawei, ZTE, Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, Virgin Mobile and Force Technology.
Members not only fund the program but continue to actively support MobileMuster in-kind by promoting the program to their customers and staff online, through sales material and retail outlets.
Currently, there are over 4,000 drop-off points around Australia for consumers to recycle their old mobile phone, battery and accessories, alongside a free post back recycling satchel available from any Australia Post or a reply-paid downloadable label online at mobilemuster.com.au. The program also offers free collection and recycling services to workplaces, schools, universities and other businesses
AMTA measures the performance of MobileMuster against nine key indicators measuring changes in consumer behaviour, industry involvement, collection and recycling rates and diversion from landfill. The full report and media release can be viewed online.
Content provided by Rose Read, Recycling Manager for MobileMuster and Treasurer for the Global Product Stewardship Council. MobileMuster is a founding corporate member of the GlobalPSC.