UN seeks action on environmentally friendly disposal of handsets

This Reuters piece highlights the UN’s work to broker an agreement on environmentally-friendly disposal of mobile handsets.

This ‘final stage’ of the user experience, i.e. disposing of the product, is becoming increasingly important as developed markets continue to move through replacement cycles. In many Western European countries, users have now owned several handsets and will eventually need to dispose of them.

The EU already has an agreement in place which makes the manufacturer responsible for safely disposing of the product and the UN may seek to extend this on an international basis. The result will be that manufacturers need to factor disposal costs into the overall budget for handset development. It will also raise issues for operators who brand handsets themselves – who is responsible for the disposal, the ODM or the operator brand?

This is a topic which may provide an interesting debating point in MEX session covering emerging markets: ‘Access for all: the inclusive mobile experience‘.

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