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Call for cell phone deposit arrangement

Friends of the Earth Norway wants to establish a deposit arrangement on cell phones in order to prevent that old cell phones end in the garbage.

Friends of the Earth Norway wants to add a deposit of NOK 50 (USD 7) to the price of cell phones in order to encourage consumers to return old phones in stead of throwing them in the garbage.

«Dealers are already today required to accept old cell phones,» said Tom Sverre Tomren, leader of the Hordaland branch of the organization, to the paper Bergensavisen. «It will therefore not be difficult to establish a deposit arrangement.»

1.5 million cell phones are sold in Norway annually, and numbers from Telenor Mobil indicates that about four million old cell phones are lying around in Norwegian homes. Both the batteries and the actual phones contain substances which are damaging to the environment, and in order to prevent them from ending on the dump, the organization launched its suggestion of a deposit arrangement.

Cell phones are dangerous waste, but all the same, only 5 percent of the phones have been returned to be disposed of properly. In a letter to the Ministry of the Environment, the Friends of the Environment Hordaland demands that a deposit arrangement for cell phones is instituted.

«Old cell phones are a ticking environmental bomb,» Tomren said. «The Ministry of the Environment must immediately start with a deposit arrangement for cell phones similar to that of old cars.»

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