Wireless Association Dials Into Green Movement

CTIA-The Wireless Association created a new Green Working Group that will focus on wireless device recycling and more sustainable packaging.

Ever wonder what to do with that shoebox full of old cellphones and accessories you have stuffed in a closet?

If you’ve ever thought about recycling the devices, you might get a little help from CTIA-The Wireless Association, which announced a new Green Working Group (GWG) this week to promote its sustainability efforts.

“It’s vital that wireless users are actively engaged by returning their old devices and accessories,” CTIA said in a statement. “By working together, we can protect and preserve our environment for future generations.”

To boost cellphone recycling, the GWG has established a three-part plan, which includes developing and educating consumers on take-back programs for phones and accessories; making use of third-party recyclers; and developing a universal measuring system for collection rates while setting a goal to increase the collection of devices and accessories by 20 percent by 2015.

“It may seem like a small step,” said Jamie Hastings, vice president of external and state affairs at CTIA, “but [it is] one that makes a significant impact as the EPA estimates that recycling 1 million cellphones would power more than 185 U.S. households with electricity for a year.”

CTIA’s new working group also identified several steps to help reduce the amount of environmental waste from wireless device and accessory packaging:

  • Eliminating plastic inserts and trays from postpaid wireless device packaging by the end of 2013
  • Labeling all U.S. postpaid wireless packaging with internationally recognized symbols to facilitate recycling by December 31, 2013
  • Using less than 10 percent volatile organic compounds in postpaid packaging elements, including labels, by the end of 2013
  • Using water-based adhesives or self-sealing tab-locking boxes by June 2014
  • Printing all postpaid packaging material, including user guides, with non-petroleum-based inks by the end of 2014

Apple, AT&T, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon are just some of the members of the working group, which is a component of the association’s larger “Go Wireless Go Green” initiative.

(Photo by stockbroker / 123RF)

Katie Bascuas

By Katie Bascuas

Katie Bascuas is associate editor of Associations Now. MORE

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