Nearly 20 phones are discarded in Kochi every day

With mobile phones becoming gadgets of mass use, their numbers have swelled in the market. The number of old phones being discarded too is on the rise. More than 20 old cellular phones are abandoned by the users in Kochi every day, according to moderate estimates.

New-age technologies introduced by competing manufacturing entities had brought a sea change in the cellular phone segment. The affordability of latest versions has resulted in the number of old phones being discarded. In fact, mobile phones are becoming outdated faster than commodities such as televisions and washing machines.

Fashion too has a part to play in the fast changing mode of cellular transformation.

Youngsters are always on the lookout for trendy ones and they are tempted to change the gadgets more often.

About 2,000 units of old mobile phones were despatched from Kochi to the e-waste management centre of a well known international cellular phone manufacturing company in New Delhi, during a three-month period recently, as part of a regular recycling plan, according to Algiers Khalid, president of the Kerala chapter of Indian Cellular Association.

Recycling

Mr. Khalid, who is also the proprietor of a distribution chain of FMCGs, said the old phones are brought by consumers for disposal at the outlets of Nokia and they are despatched to the recycling centre in New Delhi.

The parts which contain toxic elements such as nickel, cadmium and mercury are removed from the mobile phone units and the other parts are recycled to make items such as children's toys. The company has a scheme to plant a tree per unit of old phones which are recycled. The customers are given coupons or vouchers to download music, as part of a recycling campaign, he said.

While old mobile phone sets, batteries and chargers could be brought to the stipulated outlets, there are many people who might be throwing away the dead phones which pose environmental problems.

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