Holland Circular Hotspot

Closing the Loop – Closed Loop Solutions for Mobile Phones

Closing the Loop adds circularity to mobile phone usage. When a new phone is purchased, a broken phone gets collected & recycled, on a ‘One for One’ basis. As with CO2 offsetting, a fee is paid to fund the collection.

http://www.closingtheloop.eu/

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Waste-free reuse of phones

Reuse of mobile phones has grown rapidly in recent years. Most phones are shipped to emerging markets for their second life. As these markets lack proper recycling facilities, one could argue that reuse leads to more e-waste in developing regions. To tackle this issue, Closing the Loop adds a service to reuse. By taking out – and recycling – the same quantity of dead phones from Asia and Africa, as the number of devices being shipped to these regions, Closing the Loop can make its customers’ reuse policy waste-free. The service is being offered by international partners such as Sims Recycling Solutions.

 

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Circular ‘material offsetting’

 A circular service that is gaining traction fast is Closing the Loop’s ‘material offsetting’. Similar to carbon offsetting, it allows for the offset of a footprint, but in this case, it’s the material footprint. Put simply: when a new phone is purchased, a broken phone gets collected & recycled, on a ‘One for One’ basis. As with CO2 offsetting, a fee is paid to fund the collection. The result: new phones become material neutral. Closing the Loop thus puts circularity into practice for its customers.

In June 2018 seven Dutch provinces decided to launch the world’s first ‘circular tender’, for phones. The result of this Green Public Procurement innovation: the negative footprints of their devices (the waste they generate and the material scarcity they add to) will be compensated for by collecting scrap phones in Africa as ‘offsets’, in cooperation with Closing the Loop.

Big goals

Closing the Loop has provided around 3000 people with extra income in developing countries and saved over 2.3 million phones ‘from the garbage dump’. This implies 68 Kg of gold, many other metals, and 1300 ton of CO2 emissions saved.

Closing the Loop wants to make the telecom industry waste-free. It has helped clients such as Fairphone, ING, KPMG, Schiphol and municipalities and provinces to make their telecoms policy more sustainable.

Closing the Loop believes emerging markets offer the biggest chance of success and highest (social) return on investment when it comes to circular business. That is why it invests in local collection and recycling in countries such as Ghana, which will also lead to more availability of urban mined materials. As far as Closing the Loop is concerned, urban mining is the circular future.