(Fornebu, 5 March 2012): 700 sports clubs are volunteering all over Norway to collect old mobile phones for recycling. The volunteer effort starts today as a joint venture between Telenor and the Norwegian Confederation of Sports (NIF). Studies show Norwegians have more than eight million old mobile phones lying around their homes.
A recent study carried out for Telenor by Norstat indicates that almost eight out of ten Norwegians have one or more old or used mobile phones lying in their drawers. This adds up to more than eight million mobile phones.
"Norway has excellent mobile phone coverage all over the country. Norwegians are privileged to be able to enjoy the latest in mobile phone technology. More than two million new mobile phones are purchased each year in Norway, but only a fraction of the old phones have been returned for reuse or recycling. This is why Telenor arranges an annual collection campaign in collaboration with the Norwegian Confederation of Sports to gather as many old mobile phones for recycling as possible," says Berit Svendsen, CEO for Telenor Norway.
The study shows that 76 percent of Norwegians have one or more used mobile phones in their junk drawers, and two out of ten have more than four old mobile phones lying around the house.
Many people are willing to contribute to help the environment
Even if this latest study indicates that we have many old phones at home, nine out of ten said that they would happily help protect the environment by recycling these old phones. Just as many people said they were willing to donate their old phones to a sports club.
"This is good news for the environment, but it will also help clubs that are willing to assist us today in this campaign. These clubs earned six million kroner last year through the volunteer campaign, and we believe there is an even better opportunity this year to improve those results," says Svendsen in Telenor.
700 sports clubs around Norway are ready to help
Telenor will donate 35 kroner to the club for each old mobile phone a club collects. Børre Rognlien, president of the Norwegian Confederation of Sports, said the Confederation managed to get 700 clubs involved this year from all over Norway; 200 more than last year.
He thinks this kind of campaign is a great way for sports clubs to earn money for their teams, at the same time as they are doing something positive for the environment.
Hoping for a new record
Telenor was able to collect more than 180,428 used mobile telephones last year. Of these, 174,788 were collected by sports clubs. This is an all time high for Norway.
"The goal for this year's campaign is to break that record by a good margin," says Børre Rognlien.
Telenor and NIF hope the sports clubs will be able to bring in at least 230,000 old and used mobile phones this year.
"When studies indicate that so many old phones are just lying around in people's junk drawers and homes, we think our goal this year is quite possible. Together with help from the sports clubs knocking on doors we are making it easy for people to contribute," says Svendsen.
A safe way to help
The used phones are collected in special collection bags so the phones cannot be removed once they are placed inside the bag. Once the bags are full they are sent to a collection site to be counted and registered before they are sent to Telenor's recycling partner Regenersis Inc. in UK. Regenersis is ISO 14001 certified and has one of the largest recycling plants in Europe. The telephones that can be reused are restored for resale in new markets, and any remaining useless phones are recycled and destroyed. All the data on the phones is erased and any SIM cards or memory cards are summarily destroyed.
"More than 90 percent of an old mobile phone can be used in some form of new production. I encourage everyone to dig through their junk drawers to find their old mobile phones to help the environment," concludes Berit Svendsen.
Facts about the study:
When asked how many old mobile phones people had lying around at home, they answered:
- Seven percent said they had six or more old mobile phones lying around at home
- Five percent said they had five old mobile phones lying around at home
- Seven percent said they had four old mobile phones lying around at home
- Fourteen percent said they had three old mobile phones lying around at home
- Nineteen percent said they had two old mobile phones lying around at home
- Twenty-four percent said they had one old mobile phone lying around at home
- Twenty-four percent said they did not have any old mobile phones lying around at home
Facts about how used mobile telephones can be reused:
- There are 700 sports clubs willing to collect old mobile phones in the spring of 2012. You can take a look at the list of sports clubs that will be participating in this campaign, listed by county, at this link: www.idrett.no
- The used mobile phones that are collected will be registered and counted by Alternativ Data AS in Oslo before being sent to Telenor's international recycling partner, Regenersis, in Great Britain. This company is environmentally certified for such work and complies with strict routines for security and handling environment waste.
- The contract with Regenersis applies to all of Telenor's companies. As of today, Telenor has a mobile phone return and recycling scheme available in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Montenegro, Serbia, Malaysia and Thailand.
- The used mobile phones will either be recycled or processed for reuse.
- All surplus earnings from the programme are returned to sports clubs and charitable organizations that show an interest in environmental protection.
Kristine Meek, Corporate responsibility manager in Telenor Norway / Tel.: +47 918 85 405 / e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Morten Schønfeldt, marketing director for Norwegian Confederation of Sports / Tel.: +47 922 00 878 / e-mail: email@example.com
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Source: Telenor via Thomson Reuters ONE