If you live in the 14th arrondissement, why not donate any unused phones you may have to the City of Paris?, Source: Ville de Paris/ Jerome Alexander

Paris initiates a solidarity used phones collection drive to fight digital poverty

Paris initiates a solidarity used phones collection drive to fight digital poverty

This is the first initiative of this kind in the French capital

Yesterday, 22 May, the City of Paris launched its first-ever solidarity phone collection drive in the 14th arrondissement as a pilot initiative. The aim is to extend the life of used electronic devices in the city and to reduce the so-called ‘digital poverty’ there.

The urban authorities are asking residents to donate any phones that they have stopped using regularly, but which are still functioning. According to statistics, mobile phones are replaced every 2-3 years on average, while 88% of them are still in good order.

This accelerated consumption of devices leads either to increased electronic waste accumulation or to a failure in the optimization of usage among the general population. This is where the term ‘digital poverty’ comes into play to explain the gap between the haves and have-nots that leads to environmental burdens.

Why was the 14th arrondissement chosen?

Residents of the 14th arrondissement will receive a postage-paid envelope allowing them to give their old phones a second life, free of charge. The district was identified by the environmental organization Ecologic as having a well-established history of solidarity collection drives.

Until 7 July, district residents will have the opportunity to send their older phones in the said envelopes. The devices will be collected by Emmaüs Connect, an association fighting against digital poverty, and Ateliers sans Frontières, a workshop.

The smartphones will arrive in Bonneuil-sur-Marne to be sorted and refurbished in this workshop. The data will of course be deleted there.

Emmaüs Connect will be responsible for redistributing them to people in need, as part of their support for digital inclusion. Non-functional phones will be recycled in France, in a factory near Le Havre, to recover raw materials and preserve natural resources. 

In 2021, there were almost 100 million mobile phones in circulation in France. And more than 50 million smartphones are estimated to lie unused in drawers.



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