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Mobile Phone Art Project Will Help Solve e-Waste Problem

mobile phoneMobile phone users can help solve the mounting mobile phone e-waste problem by handing in their old handsets to be recreated into art work as part of the sustainable Living Festival being held in Melbourne.

The festival will be held at Federation Square from 8 to 23 February and the massive seven by eight metre artwork will be created by internationally acclaimed artist Chris Jordon with the help of local school students (commencing 12 February).

The mobile phone art project is designed to bring attention to Australia’s growing mobile phone e-waste problem. It is estimated there are more than 12,000 old mobile phones being replaced and stored every day in homes rather than being recycled[

“With increased popularity of smartphones, and the increasing number of mobile phone subscriptions, the number of unused handsets to has climbed above 23 million this year. That’s one unused mobile phone ready to be recycled for every person in Australia. And that’s with awareness of mobile recycling being higher than ever before,” commented Rose Read, Manager Recycling, MobileMuster.

If the 23 million old mobiles in Australia were recycled this would lessen the need to mine over 140,000 tonnes of precious metal ore, recover over 397 tonnes of plastic and have the equivalent environmental impact of planting over 120,000 trees.

Artist Chris Jordan is well-known for his large scale works that depict mass consumption and waste, and this piece is set to be an Australian first, drawing attention to the country’s rising e-waste. “I believe art has a role to play in the healing of our world, from the most local level all the way to the global,” said Jordan

“With so many mobiles stored in homes it is like having a vast mine of resources available, but without the pollution, rubbish heaps, giant machines, and environmental destruction.

“Australians have an infectious love for the natural world, and our natural environment has not been paved, polluted, and trashed as badly as many other places. There also seems to be a cultural shift toward sustainable thinking fast enough that perhaps much of the continent’s natural beauty can be conserved before it‘s too late,” concluded Jordan.

Consumers can easily get involved in Australia’s largest e-waste artwork by recycling their old mobile phones, batteries and accessories in the following ways:

  • Drop them off at a mobilemuster public drop off point;
  • Post them in using a reply-paid satchel from Australia Post or a free mailing labelfrom; or
  • Head down to Federation Square from 12February to meet the artist, witness the construction of Australia’s largest e-waste artwork and drop-off in person

Currently, there are over 4,000 drop-off points around Australia for consumers to recycle their old mobile, to find your nearest point to

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Alana Lowes

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