TALLINN – Rally Estonia and circular economy startup Ringy are collecting old mobile phones at selected Circle K service stations all over Estonia with a view to using the precious metals obtained from the handsets in the production of the trophies of Rally Estonia.
Until the end of June, everyone has the opportunity to make room in their drawers and leave their old handsets in a collection box at a Circle K station. Before recycling, all information is deleted from the devices.
Rally Estonia marketing manager Camilla Themas said that the focus of Rally Estonia is increasingly on the environment and sustainable solutions.
"Hybrid technology has already taken rally cars a step further, and although the campaign we have launched with Ringy may seem marginal, every small step starts a big change," Themas said.
The aim of the action is to collect about 5,000 old mobile phones and thereby save 11.32 tons of CO2, which is equal to the annual exhaust emissions of 2.4 passenger cars or the annual energy consumption of 1.4 households.
Kristo Kraft, CEO of Ringy, said that when buying a new car, it is inconceivable that we will just leave the old one standing in our driveway.
"Yet in Europe alone, there are more than 800 million phones left idle in people's homes, just collecting dust in a drawer. All of these devices could be recycled and the materials reused," said the CEO of the startup that sells, collects and buys back refurbished electronics.
"The problem of e-waste is big and growing, but so far there is very little awareness. 7.3 kilograms of e-waste is generated per each Estonian every year. While it doesn't create a pile of rubbish on the street corner, it means that precious metals have to be mined somewhere in the world to make the next smartphone, because it takes hundreds of kilos of different raw materials to make just one smartphone," Kraft added.