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Czechs do not recycle old phones. They keep two or three pieces at home.

28. July 2015

As revealed by a survey conducted by STEM/Mark for Vodafone, eighty per cent of Czech households keep at least one old mobile phone which they don’t use anymore. Old mobile devices, however, may help people in developing countries, serve education purposes or be used in jewellery production.

The survey revealed that most Czech households keep at least one mobile phone which they don’t use anymore. Most often, it is even two or three pieces. Generally, however, Czechs display a very positive attitude toward recycling. Ninety-two per cent of the Czech population regularly recycle waste such as paper, plastic and glass. More than 91 per cent of people recycle electronic waste, including washing machines, refrigerators, TV sets and other household appliances. On the contrary, however, not even 9 per cent of Czechs recycle their old mobile phones.

More than a half of Czechs keep their old phones at home, lying in a drawer just in case. However, almost three per cent of people throw away their old mobile phones along with unsorted household waste and thus contaminate the environment with non-biodegradable materials. To prevent this, Vodafone collects old phones at its stores and passes them on for recycling.

Czechs take a good care of their phones – it usually takes five years before they buy a new device (25 per cent of respondents). About 21 per cent of people keep a single phone for three years and less than a fifth of Czechs buy a new phone every two years. 

The survey also revealed that 88 per cent of the respondents bought a new phone only after the old one had stopped working. More than a half of the people switched to a new model because they needed mobile Internet connection. On the other hand, the fact that the existing device is no longer attractive seems to be the least important reason for buying a new phone, as agreed by 88 per cent of the respondents. Still, more than a quarter of the respondents want to keep up and buy a new device just because they wish to use modern technologies.

Recycling of old phones, both broken and working, has a positive impact on the environment. Broken phones are often disassembled and the components are used in further production. The most harmful to the environment are heavy metals, such as copper, zinc, silver or lead. The working phones, on the other hand, can be used as education tools for programming or testing, for example. If you bring your no-longer-used phone which is less than two years old to Vodafone, it is likely to be bought back from you or restored. Some of the recycled phones are used in jewellery production, for example.

The survey was commissioned by Vodafone and conducted by STEM/Mark in the first quarter of 2015.