UK renews attack on unwanted mobile phones

Re-use key feature of new takeback scheme claiming to be first to meet WEEE criteria

A national scheme to take back and re-use or recycle old mobile phones has been launched in the UK by Shields Environmental, a disposal firm for the telecommunications industry. Fonebak is claimed to be the first scheme that fully conforms to the requirements of the EU's draft directive on waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) (EED 19/09/02).

Fonebak, which is backed by all UK network service providers, will focus on reconditioning and reselling handsets wherever possible. This has an economic payback several times greater than that of simply recycling phone components, according to chief executive Gordon Shields. "We reckon to re-use about 70%," he told ENDS Europe DAILY, pointing out that the WEEE directive itself urges member states to "give priority to the re-use of whole appliances".

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