Aussies can now turn their old mobiles into meals for the needy

Most of us have no idea what to do with our old mobile phones, leaving them to collect dust in the attic or hidden away in the bottom of a drawer.

In a new initiative called Mobile For A Meal, MobileMuster – a non-profit mobile phone recycling company – has promised that for every mobile phone recycled until the end of February, the organisation will donate the value of a meal to OzHarvest – another well-known Aussie charity – to help feed Australians in need of food relief.

A growing problem

Electronic waste, including phones and accessories, has become a huge problem around the world. In Asia, e-waste has increased at an average of 63% between 2010 and 2015. In April 2016, MobileMuster reported that there were 25.5 million old phones lying unloved and unwanted around the country – that’s a million more phones than people!

“We know four million of these old mobile handsets are broken and completely unusable, [so this] is a huge opportunity for all Aussies to clean out their junk drawers and get those broken handsets recycled,” said Spyro Kalos, Recycling Manager for MobileMuster.

And food wastage is escalating as well. According to OzHarvest’s founder and CEO Ronni Kahn, nearly $10 billion worth of food is wasted each year in Australia. In a bountiful country like ours, it’s surprising to learn that nearly two million Aussies rely on food relief.

MobileMuster hopes to recycle 60,000 phones by the end of the campaign, providing meals for the same number of people – not only tackling food wastage but also providing the environment a helping hand.

If you’ve got an old phone lying around somewhere and would like to support this worthy cause, drop it off at your nearest mobile retail store along with any accessories, including chargers. You can even post them to MobileMuster using a free Australia Post Recycling Sachet. 

This way you get to declutter your home, put useful phones parts back into the supply chain and feed someone who’s in need. Aussies are also being encouraged to show their support for the cause online by using the campaign hashtag #mobileforameal on social networks. Visit MobileMuster’s website for more details, including your closest drop-off points.

Sharmishta Sarkar
Managing Editor (APAC)

While she's happiest with a camera in her hand, Sharmishta's main priority is being TechRadar's APAC Managing Editor, looking after the day-to-day functioning of the Australian, New Zealand and Singapore editions of the site, steering everything from news and reviews to ecommerce content like deals and coupon codes. While she loves reviewing cameras and lenses when she can, she's also an avid reader and has become quite the expert on ereaders and E Ink writing tablets, having appeared on Singaporean radio to talk about these underrated devices. Other than her duties at TechRadar, she's also the Managing Editor of the Australian edition of Digital Camera World, and writes for Tom's Guide and T3.