Closing the Loop makes mobile phone use circular for companies and governments. We turn your circular ambitions into tangible and audited results and an appealing story by ensuring that broken phones from developing countries are recycled in a responsible manner. We offset your phones and make them waste-free and material-neutral.
Our service is good for people, the environment, climate and the economy. With this approach we won the Circular Award 2018 in The Netherlands.
Why we got started
There has hardly ever been a product that symbolises innovation in such a strong way, as the mobile phone does. The device connected billions to the Internet for the first time. It allows citizens to challenge their government, aid organisations to interact with the most remote communities and whole countries to increase their economic growth.
There is just one black mark and that is the device itself.
Much is written about it, many of us have seen pictures of the horrific sites called ‘e-waste dumps’. The simple fact is that out of the two billion phones being produced yearly, just a very small minority is being recycled and even less is being recycled responsibly. Thus, digital access has a major negative effect on SDG 12: sustainable consumption.
It is as ridiculous as it is true: the icon of advancement ends as electronic and chemical waste. This is mainly causing problems in the most vulnerable places; emerging countries, where the expensive facilities needed to recycle e-waste are lacking.
Closing the Loop allows its customers to remove that black mark and offers circular business services to companies and governments to close the loop for phones.
Our customers pay us to collect scrap phones in emerging markets for them (on their behalf). This creates a ‘closed loop’ solution for phones; for every new device they buy, we collect and responsibly recycle a scrap phone. One for One. It leads to environmental benefits, but also creates an unique and appealing story on green procurement and circularity for phones.
It works like this:
- You buy a phone and want this purchase to be more sustainable;
- Closing the Loop charges you a fee of a few euros per phone;
- Closing the Loop uses that fee to pay its African partners for the collection of an end-of-life phone;
- This collection is done by local communities in the emerging world, in a safe way that is fully in line with international laws;
- If proper recycling is not possible locally, Closing the Loop ships the waste to certified facilities;
- The waste is then turned into reusable materials (urban mining), in a safe and clean way;
- You get great content, circular results and audited reporting on our approach
Some call it Global Extended Producer Responsibility. Others refer to it as an offsetting program. We call it One for One. For every device you buy (or sell), we collect and responsibly recycle a scrap phone. The basic idea: you consume (a great product), you fund (great recycling).
If this simple rule is implemented, waste would no longer increase and materials needed for production would become much more widely available.
To enable our One for One model, Closing the Loop partners with local entrepreneurs in Africa and Asia to create local recovery networks that collect scrap mobile phones for recycling.
We support the collection, storage, and especially the accreditation process for transporting these scrap phones. This way, we ensure that all collection, storage and transport is done with the right permits and following all local and international regulations.
Our partners in Africa and Asia range from students that are running a small business to established companies that have been operating for many years, such as Maiden Group in Ghana. To date, Closing the Loop has helped more than 2,000 people to earn additional income through safe employment, and we have collected more than 2.2 million phones.
For more information, please take a look at our website: http://closingtheloop.eu/
For more information on how we work on SDGs http://closingtheloop.eu/about-ctl/sustainable-development-goals