Project: An evaluation of mobile phone waste management in Mauritius from a safety and health perspective

Completed but not published

This project was submitted on 03/07/2014

Every individual over 15 has one mobile phone, making a total of 5 billion mobile phones throughout the world (BBC, 2010). Studies have revealed that in the coming years, there will be more mobile phones than individuals on Earth as they are considered as essential assets of modern life (Castells M. et al., 2007). Even though, a mobile phone is more than a revolutionizing communication tool, it is considered as an electronic waste (E-waste). Worldwide for the year 2010, there was a total of 2,440,000 tons of e-waste out of which 19,500 tons were mobile phones. Mobile phone waste is now viewed as an emerging and rapidly growing problem of the world. In Mauritius, there is an increase in the number of mobile phone users: every year, 319 000 mobile phones and 25 million batteries are imported (MT Report, 2011). More users of mobile phones imply an increase in e waste. This study aimed at assessing the present mobile phone waste management in Mauritius. A survey questionnaire was carried out among mobile phone users in five mobile phone shops, five post offices and in Mauritius Telecom. The study revealed that mauritians use more than one mobile phone at a time and they substitute their phones mainly to be trendy and for their desire for more sophisticated and smart phones. Moreover, it has been observed that despite the presence of collection systems for unsued mobile phones, Mauritians still keep their unused phones at home. This bad practice, however is detrimental as valuable metals from the phones cannot be recopvered and recycled, leading to a low collection rate. Hence, in Mauritius, it is essential to implement a proper mobile phone waste management system and set up an effective awareness programe on the on associated environmental impacts from a safety and health perspective.

Undergraduate
Emerging technologies, Equipment & machinery, Occupational health & wellbeing, Risk management, Waste
Environmental and Waste management

Organisation: University of Technology Mauritius

University
La Tour Koenig,
Pointe aux Sables,
Republic of Mauritius
www.utm.ac.mu

Principal Investigator: Ranjana Maunthrooa

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Institution of Occupational Safety and Health
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