New Fairphone recycling program

Fairphone announced the Recycling Program, which creates a special platform for handling your used mobile phones. Keep reading to find out how to participate in this unique new program.

New Fairphone recycling program

Fairphone announced the Recycling Program, which creates a special platform for handling your used mobile phones. Keep reading to find out how to participate in this unique new program.

On average, consumers use their mobile phones for two years before replacing them. But what happens to all those old phones once we’ve upgraded to the latest model? It’s currently estimated that only 7% of these phones are properly disposed of. In 2012, the total stock of unused (but not yet discarded phones) in Europe was estimated to be 1.6 billion… and that number is projected to double to 3.2 billion by 2020 (Source: European Commission Study for Ecodesign Working Plan).

Fairphone is launching the Recycling Program to do their part to reduce electronic waste, and they're looking forward to your participation! 

The goal is to help our community understand the issues surrounding electronics disposal and give them options for reusing or recycling. Especially if they are still functional, they want to make sure that these old phones don’t end up sitting at home in a drawer, or worse yet, in a landfill. In addition, the Recycling Program is part of a legal responsibility as a producer of mobile phones. 

How does the Recycling Program work?

The Fairphone Recycling Program allows you to easily return your used mobile phones through our partner Teqcycle. For Fairphone owners only, we’re offering free shipping from 26 EU countries and Switzerland (read a full list of supported countries here) to Teqcycle’s processing center in Munich.

These phones will be checked, refurbished (if possible) and then sold by Teqcycle to professional buyers in second-hand markets in Europe or other continents. The revenues will be used to support the costs of the Recycling Program itself – the remaining funds (if any) after sustaining this program will be redistributed towards Fairphone’s social and environmental projects, like our e-waste program in Ghana.

If you have a low-value phone (one made more than 3 years ago, or a more recent smartphone that is too damaged or barely functional), it might be better to drop it off at a local collection point as it’s often worth less than the cost of shipping to our partner in Germany. You can always use our value calculator to check if your phone is of low or high value. However, if you are a Fairphone owner, we are legally obliged to accept your old device for recycling, so Fairphone offers free shipping on up to two used phones you want to donate.

In case you’re not sure where to recycle or reuse your used phones locally, Fairphone has put together this handy list of reuse/recycling organizations from 30 European countries for phones and batteries.

Reusing good old phones means that you increase their lifespan and prevent them from becoming waste. In case your phone cannot be efficiently reused (e.g it’s too old or too damaged) then you should consider recycling it.  Through recycling, the phone is reprocessed into raw materials for creating other products. Because recycling is an energy-intensive process it is better to do that only when a device cannot be reused any more.

Share your thoughts and ideas

Fairphone put plenty of hard work and careful thought into our Recycling Program, but they'd love to hear your feedback about the process and possible improvements. If you send back your used phone to Teqcycle using our program, please feel free to drop us a note and share your experience and ideas.