Monday , March 8 2021

Apple | iPhone: smartphone recycling, fast growing "green" business

Poilley, France (AFP) Given the over-pricing of the latest devices, more and more consumers are choosing to buy refurbished smartphones that are much cheaper than the new ones, which also helps reduce the environmental impact of these expensive devices.

"A iphone It can have three lives, it can be corrected twice. This is the most powerful product, which has the longest lifetime, "explains Matjiu Milte, who is the Remade company based in Western France, which is dedicated to mobile phone repair, a business that, according to several studies, needs to be improved in the coming years.

This year, Remade wants to sell 800,000 "rebuilt" iPhones at prices that are much lower than the new devices (for example, in the iPhone X it is -26%, while the new XS model costs minus 1.155 euros).

"What Remade is a very good thing," says Erwann Fangeat, an engineer with the French Environmental and Energy Control Agency (Ademe).

"The smartphone has a life expectancy of at least 5 or 6 years, but 88% of France is changing its mobile phone, despite the fact that the old one still works and is valid."

In the framed premises, a large warehouse near the Mont Saint-Michel tourist home, hundreds of white coat workers are being demolished, tested, repaired and thousands of iPhones are collected daily.

Flour that declares itself to be a fan of the band Apple, he wears jeans and slippers and manages a team of 850 people, of whom 500 are working on repairing and refurbishing smartphones. In mid-October, it announced the recruitment of up to 200 additional employees by the end of the year.

Only a 23 year old he bought a TV repair company in which he worked. In 2014, he understood iPhones since February 2000 has carried out a transaction of EUR 200 000 and EUR 23 million a year.

In 2017, the company amounted to 130 million euros and continues to "grow strongly" this year, according to the prospectus.

Raw materials, damaged cell phones are bought in large numbers from telephone operators in France and the United States.

"We know how to disassemble everything and assemble everything again. The product not only needs to work, but it should work just like when it was new," he says.

– Environmental impact –
In addition to the pockets in the cell repair and renovation industry is beneficial to the environment.

The design of the smartphone has significant environmental costs. To make a device 300 grams, you need to get from 95 to 225 kg of natural resources. Every iphone its construction phase from 54 to 110 kg CO2, according to Apple.

"The longer the product life expectancy, the greater the impact on the environment, because it will delay the creation of a new mobile phone," says Fangeat. Outside iphone restored, "we are avoiding 90% of carbon for a new one," he adds.

In addition, Remade certifies its production process to calculate how much greenhouse gases a company saves in providing a second life to phones. It therefore expects 100,000 tonnes of carbon credits, which it will be able to sell to more polluting companies.

"I'm not Greenpeace," says Matthieu Millet. "But I'm glad to have this model to find out that it's good for people and the planet."

Raw materials that are to be recycled are still huge, as Ademe estimates that private homes have 30 million phones. "It's a priority to at least delay a purchase and send it to repair when it's damaged," Fangeat said.

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