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Old mobile phones to be recycled by local councils, MPs suggest

mobile phone recycling

Old unwanted mobile phones could be left out to be recycled by local councils.

The Government is looking at plans to bring in collections for “electronic waste”.

Many electronic devices have rare minerals like cobalt and tungsten.


It is reckoned more than 150,000 tonnes of kit is thrown away each year in the UK.

The Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) said:

“Research has been commissioned to evaluate the success of these projects and the potential for further rollout across the country.”

Philip Dunne MP, EAC chairman, said:

“Levelling the playing field for online giants and physical retailers in the take-back of e-waste is important if we are to cut down on the amount of e-waste disposed of incorrectly.

We need to make urgent improvements to the reuse and recycling of such products

“The Government has failed to acknowledge the importance of extracting precious metals from old electronics.

“These metals, including tungsten and cobalt, are crucial in the manufacture of wind turbines and solar panels – and their continued supply is therefore vital to making net zero Britain a reality.

“But we are at serious risk of creating supply shortages if we fail to retrieve these rare materials from old devices.”


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