Almost 90 percent are in favor: Germans find cell phone deposits intelligent

Almost 90 percent for it
Germans think cell phone deposits are intelligent

What works with cans could also get the return of decommissioned electrical appliances going. Almost 90 percent of Germans consider a cell phone deposit to be a good idea. Currently, around ten kilos of electronic waste per citizen collects dust in the cupboards, including the valuable raw materials.

According to a Forsa survey, a clear majority of German citizens can imagine a deposit on cell phones in order to ensure the recycling of valuable raw materials. Broken or old devices often gather dust in drawers or end up illegally in household waste, said the German Federal Environment Foundation (DBU) in Osnabrück. The digital association Bitkom estimate that almost 200 million cell phones are lying around unused in this country. They contained valuable raw materials such as copper, cobalt and tantalum as well as silver, gold and nickel or rare earths.

According to the representative survey On behalf of the DBU, a total of 87 percent of those surveyed consider a cell phone deposit to be “very good” or “good”. “Electronic waste is becoming a massive problem in Germany and around the world,” said DBU General Secretary Alexander Bonde. The citizens’ wish was also to be understood as a “wake-up call to the legislature”. In order to stop the depletion of resources, incentives for the reuse and further use of raw materials are needed. It is important to get away from an “ex and hopping mentality”.

When asked about the repairability of products such as household appliances, cell phones and televisions, 91 percent said that repairs are often not financially worthwhile because they are expensive. A large majority of respondents (84 percent) were of the opinion that manufacturers designed the products in such a way that they only last a little longer than the statutory warranty period. Three quarters of those surveyed stated that it was too time-consuming to find a suitable provider for repairs.

Cell phones are 80 percent recyclable

Bonde spoke of a dramatic e-waste situation. Almost 54 million tons were generated worldwide in 2019 – from monitors to cell phones to refrigerators. This is around 7.3 kilograms per capita per year globally and around 10.3 kilograms in Germany. In the case of cell phones, for example, around 80 percent of the components are recyclable.

According to the DBU, the willingness to share strongly depends on the product: 71 percent of those surveyed could imagine sharing tools. With shared use of cars (45 percent), bicycles and e-scooters (42 percent), this tendency decreases rapidly. Only a few (9 percent), on the other hand, can make friends with the clothing sharing model. For all of the products queried, the willingness of women was higher than that of men, and greater in the old federal states than in the new.