Get Gold from your Phone with the Green Up! Campaign ma, nov 28, 2011

The Green Up! Campaign from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is encouraging people across Europe to use their old mobile phones to promote sustainable development.

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Geneva, 25 November 2011 - In today's fast-paced world, it's hard to imagine life without a mobile phone.

Now the Green Up! Campaign from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is encouraging people across Europe to use their old mobile phones to promote sustainable development.

Recent UNEP studies have shown that the failure to recycle many metals - many of which are present in mobile phones - not only causes wasted resources and environmental damage, it threatens shortages of elements essential to modern technologies.

UNEP's latest Resource Panel report 'Recycling Rates of Metals: A Status Report', stated that less than one-third of some 60 metals have an end-of-life recycling rate above 50 per cent, and that 34 elements have a recycling rate below 1 per cent.

Many of these metals are crucial to clean technologies, such as batteries for hybrid cars or magnets in wind turbines. Some of the metals found in mobile phones like gold, silver and tantalum are precious; while others like cadmium and lead are toxic. Recovering these metals lessens the demand for mining new ore and helps protect sensitive natural habitats and communities from the pollution that often results from mining or improper disposal.

The UNEP report says that "in spite of significant efforts in a number of countries and regions, many metal recycling rates are discouragingly low, and a 'recycling society' appears no more than a distant hope."

Throughout November, GreenUp! is encouraging Europeans to make this distant hope a reality by taking their old mobile phones for recycling.

GreenUp's website pinpoints recycling centres on a Google map, which we hope that - with your help ? can become a comprehensive map of all European mobile phone recycling centres.

This latest 'action' from the Green Up! Campaign draws attention to the Waste sector of UNEP's Green Economy report, which outlines pathways for a transition towards low carbon, resource efficient sustainable development. The final version of the UNEP Green Economy Report was launched earlier this month.

Notes to Editors

GreenUp! is a new UNEP initiative, launched from Brussels in October 2011. It is designed to bring the concept of the Green Economy closer to European citizens by linking each of the economic sectors essential to 'green' the global economy to a citizens' action and initiative, suggested each month at the collaborative web platform www.greenup-unep.org.

The action for November deals with the Waste sector.

This GreenUp citizen action coincides with European Week for Waste Reduction, a project funded by the European Commission. The week runs from 21-27 November 2011. www.ewwr.eu

For more information, please contact:

Isabelle Valentiny, Information Officer for Europe, +41 79 251 82 36 or isabelle.valentiny@unep.org

Nick Nuttall, Acting Director UNEP Division of Communications and Public Information/Spokesperson, +254 733 632755, or nick.nuttall@unep.org

 
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