• Germany's news in English

Greens propose €10 mobile phone deposit

The Local · 8 Mar 2012, 16:36

Published: 08 Mar 2012 16:36 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Dorothea Steiner told The Local she wanted to see a €10 deposit on mobiles, in the form of a discount on new phones – when a customer hands in an old one.

“Or if you don’t buy a new one, you can give the old one back and you get the money,” Steiner told The Local.

“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 told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung newspaper on Thursday, when she presented the proposal to the German parliament.

Steiner added that efficient electronic recycling would not only help the environment, but would help save dwindling resources of precious metals. “Mobiles phones and other electronic devices use so many rare metals that it’s irresponsible to just throw them away,” the environmental policy spokeswoman said.

Steiner believes around 100 million mobile phones are currently being used in Germany. “At the same time, more than 80 million old mobiles are lying around in drawers,” she added.

It’s estimated that around 1.6 billion new mobile phones go on 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. “This treasure needs to be saved,” said Steiner.

Steiner put some of the blame for the mountains of scrapped electronics on large technology fairs, like CeBIT currently in Hannover, constantly selling new products. “New devices are coming on the market regularly and at ever shorter intervals,” she said in Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung.

“The mountain of obsolete models is growing all the time.”

The European Union has set targets for the recycling-percentage of electronic devices: 45 percent by 2016 and 65 percent by 2019. But Steiner believes this is not ambitious enough – she wants 60 percent by 2016 and 80 percent by 2019, and hopes a deposit scheme could help.

Story continues below…

“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,” she told The Local. “It would depend on how the companies want to do it, but probably the phones would then cost €10 more.”

The Local/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

23:27 March 9, 2012 by PierceArrow
For once, the Greens have a proposal which makes sense, like the proverbial broken clock which gives the right time twice a day!
Today's headlines
Munich to get 'nice toilets' to serve cross-legged locals
Photo: DPA

The Bavarian capital has a pee problem - the city only has one public toilet for every 13,000 inhabitants. But a new plan could rescue desperate locals, the Süddeutsche Zeitung reports.

German kids get glowing report for their English skills
Photo: DPA.

As if multilingual Germans don't already put many English-speakers to shame, now the younger generation is improving their English skills even more.

Berlin museum controversially recreates Hitler bunker
The reconstruction of the Hitler bunker. Photo: DPA

Sensationalized or compelling history? Berlin museums clash over new Nazi bunker exhibit

Germans think they're fit, but they're really couch potatoes
Photo: DPA.

There's been an increase in the number of Germans who define themselves as "fit", but their lifestyle choices don't quite match this self-perception.

10 fascinating facts you never knew about German beer
Tennis coach Boris Becker and his wife Lilly at Oktoberfest 2016 in Munich. Photo: DPA

From malt and monks to Radlers and rivalries, the story of German beer is as rich and wonderful as its selection.

Intensive farming 'endangers a third of German species'
Photo: DPA

There are 32,000 species of animal, plant and mushroom life native to Germany. Due to intensive farming methods, one in every three of these is endangered, a new report shows.

German hospital uses therapy to 'treat' paedophiles
A poster from the campaigne "Don't offend", which offers therapy to paedophiles. The sign reads "Do you love kids more than you'd prefer? There's help." Photo: DB Scholz & Friends / DPA.

A unique German initiative is offering therapy to paedophiles to control their urges, with the aim of getting them help before they offend.

Minister: 'no tolerance' for clowns after chainsaw attack
Photo: DPA

Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière has called for a zero-tolerance approach to 'killer clowns' after a series of attacks culminating in two teenagers being chased by a clown wielding a chainsaw.

Baby who was auctioned on eBay taken away from father
Photo: DPA.

A German court ruled on Thursday that a man who put his one-month-old baby up for sale on the online auction platform eBay should only be allowed contact with the child under supervision.

Portugal's ruling party calls German minister 'pyromaniac'
Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble. Photo: DPA.

The head of Portugal's ruling Socialists called German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble a "pyromaniac" on Thursday after he criticized Lisbon for reversing course on austerity.

10 German clichés that foreigners get very wrong
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
10 ways German completely messes up your English
Germany's 10 most weird and wonderful landmarks
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd