Vodafone Ghana launches a campaign to recycle obsolete phones
By Nana Appiah Acquaye, Accra, Ghana
Starting from March this year, Vodafone Ghana will be deploying collection bins at its retail shops across Ghana to collect old phones and batteries from Ghanaians for proper disposal in a responsible and environmentally friendly manner. Vodafone Ghana in partnership with Recell Ghana will be collecting the e-waste from the various points for safe disposal.
According to the Head of Vodafone Ghana Foundation and Sustainability, Nana Yaa Ofori-Koree, this has become necessary because studies have reveal that a significant number of Ghanaians had old mobile phones stowed away at home, with many having upwards of three phones. She said although there is some level of awareness on environmental impacts of wrong disposal of old handsets among Ghanaians, especially within Accra, the lack of access to environmentally sound disposal options have led many people to store their obsolete phones at home.
Obsolete and irreparable handsets, like any electronic waste (e-waste) could become a significant environmental issue if not disposed of in a safe and secure manner.
By not recycling e-waste, valuable minerals are lost and potentially hazardous metals (eg. lead, cadmium, arsenic and mercury) can leach into the ground from disposal into landfills, causing detrimental damage to the soil, water supply, vegetation, animals and humans. The re-use of working phones avoids more mineral extraction and energy consumption in the manufacture of new phones.
As a major corporate organisation in Ghana, Vodafone believes that it has a responsibility to help care for and reduce deadly effect of e-waste on the environment and also offer its employees and customers a more sustainable way of living, hence coming up with a campaign to urge Ghanaians to dispose of their obsolete and irreparable handsets and batteries in a safe way.
“This recycling campaign is our way of encouraging Ghanaians to play their part in greening the environment” Nana Yaa Ofori-Koree told Biztechafrica during the official launch of the campaign in Accra.
“As a part of our strategy to create value, we will continue to devise sustainability initiatives to manage our socio-economic and environmental impact particularly in waste management and community development,” he added.