Tomorrow, October 13th, is international e-waste day. A day for raising awareness on the fact that electronic waste is the biggest growing stream of solid waste. Although this doesn’t sound like a day for celebrations, it is a festive day at Dutch company Closing the Loop. Together with their African partners and through a circular business model, it has saved more than 2 million phones from the dump. And they have a present for the next interested client.
It is estimated that 50 million tonnes of e-waste will be generated globally in 2018. This is an equivalent of 5,000 Eiffel towers. Only 20% was recycled through appropriate channels. Mobile phones that we use everyday are a major contributor to this pile of waste. According to a report by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, every day, we are getting rid of over 416,000 mobile devices.
So what is there to celebrate?
“As developed countries we have very good quality phones and the reuse market - reselling phones for a second life - is booming. This is great news, however after a third, fourth or even fifth life 70% of these second hand phones end up in developing countries. When they break down eventually there is no one who collects and recycles them”, says Joost the Kluijver, founder of Closing the Loop. “This is where we fill a gap. We offer companies in Europe a solution to make the disposal process for their phones ‘waste free’. For each phone disposed by our customer, our partners in Africa collect a phone for proper recycling. This is quite successful as we have already collected more than 2 million phones for over 25 companies and the public sector, like T-Mobile, KPMG and the city of Amsterdam.”
Three days ago it was the Dutch Day of Sustainability. “Together with our partners and clients, we have shown it is possible to close the loop of a smartphone’s life, while creating value for everyone in its chain. International e-waste day offers a great kick off for companies to start turning their circular ambitions into action,” Joost continues. “Therefore we give away a free urban mining workshop to a European company who sends us a message the coming week motivating why they want to do something about their mobile phone footprint.”
You can email us via: info [at] closingtheloop.eu