Australians go through a lot of mobile phones. In fact, most don’t even wait for their current handset to stop working before buying the next one.
This collective craving for the latest-and-greatest phone is producing an ever-increasing pile of harmful electronic garbage – 25kg per person annually. But two Australian organisations are collaborating to solve the problem and actual hunger.
Electronic recycling organisation MobileMuster and surplus food charity OzHarvest have announced that for each mobile phone handed in until the end of February, one meal would be donated for an Australian in need.
The organisations hope the unique combination will kill two birds with one stone.
“While old mobile phones and food waste are typically unconnected, we’ve come together as we can see there’s a great opportunity here to take on these two big waste issues with one action,” MobileMuster recycling manager Spyro Kalos told HuffPost Australia.
MobileMuster estimates that there are 25.5 million unused phones sitting around the country, with 4 million of them no longer working. And with more than 95% of the materials in mobile phones able to be recycled, 10 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions are prevented for each tonne of mobile phones recovered.
OzHarvest collects surplus food from shops and restaurants then delivers to charities in need. The body is best known in the business community for its annual CEO Cookoff fundraising event.
More than 644,000 Australians currently receive food relief each month, OzHarvest organisation says, with one third of them children.
MobileMuster is funded by mobile industry brands Microsoft, Motorola, Samsung, HTC, Huawei, ZTE, Alcatel, Oppo, Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and Virgin Mobile, and aims to keep old mobile phones out of landfill.