Is Motorola Renew the greenest mobile ever?

Following its ethical Red phones, Motorola unveils a new green one...
Following its ethical Red phones, Motorola unveils a new green one...

Motorola and T-Mobile today announced the launch of the Moto 233 Renew, the world's first mobile phone made using plastics from recycled water bottles.

The eco-phone's plastic outer casing is made entirely from recycled drinks bottles, and is itself recyclable.

But that's just the first green credential of the Renew, which went on sale today for $10 (£7) with a two-year contract, exclusively through T-Mobile.

Carbon neutral calling

In co-operation with, Motorola offsets the carbon dioxide required to manufacture, distribute and operate the phone through investments in renewable energy sources and reforestation, making it the first carbon-neutral mobile phone, from cradle to grave.

In addition, the phone packaging and included in-box materials have been reduced by 22 per cent, and are printed with vegetable inks on 100 per cent post-consumer recycled paper.

Also included in the box is a prepaid shipping envelope for customers to use to recycle their old device.

T-Mobile offers the Renew with paperless billing and will plant a tree for every customer who takes up the offer.

The handset itself is a basic GSM candybar with colour screen, MP3 player, memory card slot and an impressive 9-hour talk time battery life.

More green comms

It might have some competition from Samsung, however, whose F268 handset topped Greenpeace's annual survey as the greenest mobile phone of 2008.

The F628 was the only phone Greenpeace tested that year that was free of brominated flame retardants and PVCs.

The phone's charger complies with EnergyStar and even sounds an alarm when the handset is fully charged and ready to be unplugged.

Mark Harris is Senior Research Director at Gartner.