Vodafone Group used World Earth Day to focus on mobile device recycling, encouraging people to tackle a problem which the GSMA estimates amounts to 5 billion redundant phones.

The operator stated around 50kg of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions could be avoided when customers select a recycled device instead of a new phone, with a 20 per cent reduction in climate impact.

Vodafone added recycled models can remove the need to extract 70kg of raw materials required to manufacture a new device. It quoted research into the impact of refurbished devices published in 2022 which showed a potential annual reduction in CO2e of 24.6kg when using a recycled model.

The operator is one of several to have introduced recycling programmes for mobile devices. Vodafone noted an initiative it undertook with the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) in 2022 involved a pledge to collect 1 million phones “with the hope of increasing the number of used” models returned to it through various channels.

It also used World Earth Day to highlight collaborations with “partners like Recommerce” along with a programme by Vodafone Germany which it asserts is “one of the world’s largest mobile phone recycling programmes” among operators, one which has already collected “more than 80 tonnes of electronic waste”.

Vodafone is also promoting repair programmes, with 100,000 handsets fixed by its Spanish unit in 2023.

World Earth Day is a programme which began in 1970 with the goal of empowering individuals keen to promote environmental awareness. The organisation behind it states it now works with more than 150,000 partners to “drive positive action for our planet”.