We received the invitation to pitch our approach at the UN summit on sustainable development on Monday July 9. The aim of the summit is to help each other achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) more quickly. Closing the Loop’s goal is a waste free telecom sector and offers governments and companies an easy way to compensate their mobile phone use. This leads to tangible results such as CO2 emissions savings, waste reduction, material reuse and income for poor people. T-Mobile is the first telecom provider to take a step in the right direction together with Closing the Loop.
Tackling electronic waste
Over the last ten years, more than 7 billion mobile phones have been produced worldwide. Two thirds of all phones that are re-used end up in countries where there is no responsible recycling infrastructure. After a third or sometimes even a fourth life, many devices end up at the dump when their lifespan has ran out. Closing the Loop, winner of the Circular Award 2018, ensures that also phones from these countries are safely recycled.
The collaboration with T-Mobile Netherlands helps in realizing the ambition of Closing the Loop to make the mobile phone the first complete circular product. Thanks to the Recycle Deal, T-Mobile offers customers the latest phone and the possibility to actively contribute to reducing electronic waste. Customers get the option to sell their device back to T-Mobile after the contract has expired. The phone will be recycled or offered for reuse in cooperation with Closing the Loop. “In our opinion, the mobile phone is the first product that can realize a closed loop at a global level. T-Mobile is the very first in Europe to deal with the recycling of smartphones in this way. We are very happy with that. Hopefully they inspire others in the sector.” says Joost de Kluijver, founder of Closing the Loop.
The public sector has also taken a unique step towards sustainable telecom. On June 1, seven Dutch provinces and two government departments signed a contract with Centralpoint for thousands of new phones. Closing the Loop compensates for the use of raw materials by purchasing broken phones from Africa and Asia for responsible recycling. The new smartphones are the first worldwide to be made 'resource-neutral' by means of a tender process. The expectation is that this will give an enormous boost to circularity in the IT sector.