On the occasion World Environment Day, Grameenphone has launched a ‘Mobile Handset Recycling’ campaign at its Farmgate GPC.
Md. Raisul Alam Mondal, Director-General, Department of Environment, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, inaugurated the campaign at the launch ceremony while Brigadier General Md. Nasim Parvez, Director General, Spectrum Division, BTRC was the special guest. Grameenphone CEO, Michael Foley and Chief Corporate Affairs Officer Mahmud Hossain were also present on the occasion.
Speaking on the occasion the Director General of Environment Department said,” Grameenphone’s initiative to recycle handset has added a new dimension to the environment conservation in Bangladesh. I would like to request BTRC to include other stakeholders to this initiative.”
Through this campaign, GP urges interested patrons to deposit their unused/discarded mobile handset in a drop box located at their nearest Grameenphone Centre. Grameenphone will recycle these unused or discarded handsets, to ensure that all recyclable materials and any potentially harmful substances inside the device will be processed properly. The recycling work will be performed in Bangladesh and abroad in accordance with ISO 14000, OSHAS 18000, and R2 standards. All GPC’s around the country and Grameenphone Circle offices will receive handsets for recycling around the year.
‘As a responsible corporate citizen, Grameenphone strives to reduce the environmental impacts of its operations and inspires employees, customers, and all other stakeholders to act responsibly. The company believes that a safe, ethical and environmentally sound option to reduce the negative environmental impacts of discarded cell phones is to recycle the phones responsibly. From an environmental perspective it is important that every old mobile handset that is replaced, and no longer in use, do not end up in landfills but is recycled in a safe, secure and ethical way,’ said Michael Foley, CEO at Grameenphone.
Mobile handsets contain a number of harmful chemicals, including mercury, cadmium, lead, beryllium and flame retardants. If disposed of incorrectly or if disposed of in a landfill, these toxins may leak out and contaminate the soil and the drinking water. The amount of cadmium in one mobile phone battery could be enough to contaminate around six hundred thousand liters of water.
Flame retardants, lead, and beryllium used in the making of mobile phones can cause many serious illnesses, including cancer, liver damage and damage to nervous systems due to exposure. Mercury is used in the mobile phone’s displays and circuit boards. Mercury exposure contributes to brain and kidney damage. One teaspoon of mercury can contaminate a 20-acre lake forever.
No handsets deposited for recycling with Grameenphone will be sold, or refurbished for reuse; they all will be recycled properly with the recovered materials recycled to make new products instead of being buried in the ground where they could potentially harm the environment. More importantly, by reusing the recovered materials, Grameenphone will help to reduce the demand on the Earth’s precious natural resources, save energy and avoid future greenhouse gas emissions.