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“Mobile for a Meal Program” Has Australians Donating Old Phones for a Good Cause

Friday, December 22, 2017 | Comments (0)

Do you have your old mobile phones lying around somewhere in your home? Instead of letting them gather dust, consider donating them for a good cause to Mobile Muster and its Mobile For a Meal program.

The program, launched last year with tremendous success, aims to simultaneously tackle the pressing issues of material waste and widespread hunger in Australia. Mobile For a Meal is facilitated in partnership with OzHarvest, a food rescue organisation who seeks to combat hunger and food wastage in the country.

According to an ABC Australia story, the program has been timed to coincide with the holidays. OzHarvest spokesperson Fiona Nearn, in an interview with the news outfit, reminded people to be conscious about the amount of food they consume and the number of leftover food items that they generate in the festivities of the season.

Nearn added that an overwhelming 50% of the food waste they collect are from households, and families are known to consume more food in Christmas than they do during the rest of the year.

Nearns statements echo those of her colleague, Ronni Kahn, founder of OzHarvest, who told the Huffington Post in an interview that up to AUD10 billion worth of food is wasted by Australias citizens every year. The bulk of these food items end up being sent to the landfill instead of being donated to hungry people all over the continent.

The Growing E-Waste Problem

The magnitude of electronic waste, in the form of electronic devices that are no longer used but are still hoarded, is just as serious as our food waste problem. According to the same Huffington Post article, Australia has an estimated population of 25 million unused mobile devices lying aroundand that doesnt include other electronic devices like televisions and computers.

Mobile Musters Recycling Manager Spyro Kalos also revealed that 95% of the components in an old or even a non-functioning mobile device can be recycled and reused. 

How Does Mobile for a Meal Work?

The concept is simple. Mobile Muster has set up drop-off centers all over the country, where you can bring your old mobile devices. The program does not discriminate between brands and year of modelall kinds of phones are accepted, from the oldest generations up until the newest models.

With each old mobile that is collected, OzHarvest will donate a free meal to a member of society who is affected by food insecurity. Imagine if your family has dozens of devices in some box in your garagethats dozens of people with full bellies.

The phones, on the other hand, are then dismantled in order to extract the components that are made of plastic, copper and other precious materials, Kalos revealed. These materials are then recycled and reused to create new products, including new batteries for newer mobile phone models. This reduces the demand for mining new materials for those products, greatly benefiting the environment.

Mr. Kalos also assured owners of the privacy of their data. According to the Mobile Muster executive, all donated phones are destroyed, and any data inside their processors are obliterated in the process.

Mobile Muster has been collecting and reusing old handsets and mobile devices since 1998. According to its website, the outfit has recycled 11 million devices including their batteries since its inception.

For more news and updates on recycling and other environmental matters, be sure to follow this blog. if you would like to learn about our lineup of sustainable and recyclable packaging materials, include NWPP bags and kraft paper bags, contact the Smartbag team today.

(IMAGE CREDIT: Mobile Muster - www.MobileMuster.com.au)

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