An EU scheme to recycle old mobile phone has yet to achieve success as too many people hang on to their old phones, hoarding them in drawers instead.

The recycling of batteries has to increase under an EU directive, but so far the scheme is failing because not enough people are willing to give their old phones away.

The European Battery Recycling Association (EBRA) said its biggest worry is that old batteries become dangerous when they get old. It is urging people to hand in their old phones for recycling.

But EBRA president Bertrand Schutz admitted that even he is guilty of keeping his first mobile phone. He told Reuters that if fewer people were like him, the EU's recycling targets of 45 per cent wouldn't be a problem to reach.