Coolrec & KPN – Skating medals made of old mobile phones

Coolrec, a part of Renewi teamed up with the Dutch mobile provider KPN to recycle old mobile phones and produce gold, silver and bronze medals for the skating races organised by the Royal Dutch Skating Federation (KNSB).

Discarded cell phones contain valuable metals that can be recovered and used again for making new products. Recovering materials from old devices protects the world from pollution and preserves finite resources contributing to the achieving of sustainability targets.


Collecting old cell phones and recovery of precious metals

Collecting of old cell phones first took place during three major skating races in the Netherlands. The public could deposit their old mobile phones in a special box during the events or hand in their old mobile phones in all KPN shops.

Coolrec uses innovative techniques to recover specific materials from discarded devices, including precious metals from mobile phones. Then these materials are reused as raw material for new products such as the skating medals for the KNSB.

The first recycled medals were awarded during the KPN NK Allround & Sprint in Thialf in 2018. KPN has been carbon-neutral in its own operations since 2015 and its current ambition is to become almost 100% circular in 2025.