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100 million mobile phones sleep in French drawers instead of being recycled

Mobile phones (illustration). (MARTINE BRÉSON / FRANCE BLEU / RADIO FRANCE)
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Each year, the French resell or donate between six and nine million used phones, according to figures from Ecosystem, the organization that organizes and develops the collection, depollution and recycling of electrical and electronic equipment in France. But at the same time, 20 million new phones are coming to the market. And 100 million mobile phones sleep in the drawers of the French instead of being recycled.

There is therefore still an important deposit that Ecosystem must capture. The organization therefore encourages users to send their phones free of charge by post. All they need to do is go to the site and print a label to stick on an envelope.

These phones are then either deboned to recycle certain materials, or repaired and reconditioned to be resold. This work is not carried out on the other side of the world, but in France, at Le Pin (Loire-Atlantique), between Nantes and Angers, on the Ateliers du bocage site, owned by the Emmaüs network. This activity allows people in professional integration to find the path to employment, after having been trained in the electronics, digital or logistics professions.

Last year, Ecosystem collected 604,000 tonnes of electrical equipment (washing machines, refrigerators, hairdryers, computers and mobile phones). In 2019, collection increased by 5% compared to the previous year, except for screens and mobile phones, whose collection is declining.

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