AFRICA – The British telecommunications group Vodafone has announced the upcoming launch of a program for the sustainable management of electronic waste in Africa.
E-waste is a health and environmental hazard, containing toxic additives or hazardous substances such as mercury, which damages the human brain and/or coordination system.
The initiative is aimed at strengthening its environmental commitment in the practice of its activities both in Europe and Africa.
Founded in 1982 by Gerry Whent, Ernest Harrison, the British telecommunications group Vodafone is present in several African countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Congo, Tanzania, Mozambique, Kenya, and Ghana through its local subsidiaries.
The mobile phone operator based in Newbury, England, plans to set up a scheme to increase the number of mobile devices reused or recycled.
“The next frontier of our planet’s strategy is focused on building a circular economy for consumers and industry through its actions and collaboration with partners developing innovative programs that can address the growing e-waste challenge,” says Joakim Reiter, Vodafone Group’s director of external and corporate affairs.
According to the group, the initiative will offer its customers rapid assistance and repair services, the establishment of an online site where users exchange their old phones.
In the long term, it will encourage customers to recycle their phones and purchase refurbished smartphones.
According to the Global E-waste Monitor, Africa recorded 2.9 million tons of electronic waste in 2020 alone, 586,000 tons or a record 20% from Egypt.
The new report also predicts global e-waste discarded products with a battery or plug will reach 74 Mt by 2030, almost a doubling of e-waste in just 16 years.
This makes e-waste the world’s fastest-growing domestic waste stream, fuelled mainly by higher consumption rates of electric and electronic equipment, short life cycles, and few options for repair.