Ruffley welcomes 'Dead Ringers?' exhibition and calls for 'green' mobile phones

Monday, 3 April, 2006

David Ruffley MP has today applauded the 'Dead Ringers?' exhibition which opened at the Science Museum last week.

The exhibition draws attention to the waste disposal problems resulting from peoples' urge to constantly upgrade their mobile phone.

Key facts:

• In the UK a total of 1,712 mobile phones are upgraded every hour.

• Worldwide there are 7 billion mobile phones and only 1.3 billion users.

• In the UK it is estimated that there are between 20 and 90 million mobile phones lying around and out of use.

• Only 10- 15% of mobile phones are currently recycled.

• New European guidelines coming into force later this year will require industry and consumers to reduce waste from electrical devices.

The exhibition showcases new technology such as NEC's phone with an entirely biodegradable cover and a prototype biodegradable phone cover with implanted sunflower seed and nutrients.

David said:

'People tend to forget the heavy environmental cost of disposing of their old mobile phone when they reach for the latest gadget. Many old handsets end up in landfill sites where it is possible they leak toxic chemicals.

'This exhibition draws attention to the problems of disposing of old electrical equipment and highlights what some manufacturers are doing to make it easier for consumers to make environmentally sound purchases.

'I encourage people to visit this exhibition and hopefully when they next come to upgrade their phone they will think a little more about what happens to the old one when they no longer need it.

'I urge my constituents to think about the environment and recycle their old mobile phones. Facilities to do so are available at branches of The Link and at the Suffolk County Council Household Waste Recycling Centres in Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket.

'Dealing with green issues responsibly is one of the biggest challenges facing the country today. We're all in this together and we need to recognise that we have a shared responsibility to act. All of us together- Government, business, families and individuals- must play our part if we are to tackle the environmental issues so important to our future.'