• March 9th, 2012
  • Carly Page

A German MP has proposed that mobile post should carry a €10 deposit, to encourage users to recycle their handset.

Dorothea Steiner, a German Green MP, told The Local that all mobile phones should come with the deposit, which would be refunded once the handset is recycled.

“It’s a first step to finally get a grip on the growing wilderness of scrapped electronic devices, and to significantly raise the proportion of recycled phones,” Steiner said. “New devices are coming on the market regularly and at ever shorter intervals. The mountain of obsolete models is growing all the time.”

Steiner believes that while there are 100 mobile phones currently being used in Germany, 80 million are lying around in drawers – some of which contain rare, precious metals. As reported by German website The Local, there’s an estimated 1.6 billion new mobile phones entering the market every year, which contain some 400 tons of silver, 38 tons of gold, and 14 tons of palladium – another rare metal essential for the electronics industry.

Following her proposal of the idea to the Germany parliament, Steiner added: “Of course we haven’t worked out all the details yet, because we want to work out what would be the most practical for the mobile phone traders. It would depend on how the companies want to do it, but probably the phones would then cost €10 more.”