Did you know that March is the month for Mobile Muster’s annual Go for Zero campaign?
Were you aware that there are an estimated 24 million unused mobile phones hiding in Australian homes and businesses, and that a whopping 5 million of those are actually broken and no longer working?
We Australians are early adapters of the latest tech. We love to get the latest releases of our phones, upgrading on average every 2 ½ years. On the flipside, we own a huge number of unused mobiles. Some we may keep as a spare handset, “just in case”. But what about the mobiles and accessories that aren’t even working anymore?
Mobile phones, their batteries, chargers and other accessories, contain many valuable resources that can be used again. Up to 95% of the materials in our mobiles can be recycled. Perhaps we’re not sure how and where to recycle our old mobiles or are afraid our data might end up in the wrong hands.
Enter Mobile Muster, the mobile phone industry’s product stewardship program. You may have spotted a Mobile Muster collection container in your local telco store when you picked up your last new phone.
Mobile Muster has been around since 1998, is accredited by the federal government and receives its funding from all the major phone manufacturers and carriers. Its purpose is to provide a free and secure mobile phone recycling program and to raise awareness and provide education about the importance of recycling.
Mobil Muster’s Go For Zero campaign encourages all of us to dig up our old broken mobiles and accessories and take them to a Mobile Muster collection point so they can be safely and securely recycled.
We at Sustainable Marketplace are fervent supporters of the Go For Zero campaign and are a registered collection point. You may have spotted our Instagram posts and the advertisement on our home page. This month we’re encouraging our friends and family to get their broken mobiles out of their homes and give them to us. Once our collection box is full, we’ll request for Mobile Muster to pick it up and all the mobiles we've collected will be recycled with zero risk for their data.
Here are some more tips from Mobile Muster’s on how we can all reuse, recycle and repair ... and Go For Zero.
Do regular spring cleans
Make time every few months or so to go through your things and see what can be recycled, repaired, re-gifted or reused. Not quite sure where to recycle certain items? Planet Ark’s website has really detailed info on recycling, listing thousands of drop off points throughout Australia. For instructions on how to repair your possessions, find the info you need on YouTube. Your old mobile phones and their accessories can be taken to a Mobile Muster collection point. The 3500 registered locations are listed on the Mobile Muster website.
Do your research
Search the internet, listen to podcasts, ask an expert; learn how all the small things we can all do to repair, reuse and recycle the things we own, can make a difference. Every small step counts and Mother Nature will be grateful!
Think before you buy! Do you really need the item?
Look to buy products made with recycled materials.
Find a retailer or manufacturer who is committed to sustainable business practices (such as recycling, responsible packaging, zero carbon emissions).
Find out what happens when you’re finished with the product’s. Can it be recycled? Is there a product stewardship program for this product?
Calculate and understand your impact
This might be something your children enjoy doing too: Mobile Muster have a calculator on their website which you can use to measure what effect your recycling has on the environment.
Live, learn and work more sustainably
Try going paperless where possible, at home, at school and at work. Use smart technologies to help manage your electricity usage and turn off your devices at the wall. There are so many small things you can do to live more sustainably. You’ll end up saving money too!
Share what you know
Share all that newfound knowledge with your friends, family and colleagues. Encourage them to recycle their old mobile phones, too.
Mobile Muster is managed by the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) on behalf of handset manufacturers (Alcatel, Apple, HMD Global, HTC, Huawei, Google, Motorola, Oppo, Samsung, Vigo Mobile Australia, ZTE), network carriers (Optus, Telstra, TPG Telecom) and accessory manufacturer and distributor Cellnet Australia.
Photo by Agê Barros on Unsplash.