Bordeaux: Ecosystem and the city of Libourne, a collection of unused phones for the benefit of people in precarious situations

On July 17, Ecosystem and the City of Libourne organized a collection of old phones for the benefit of people in precarious situations. The collection took place as part of an official Tour de France ceremony in the city of Libourne. This collection is the result of a partnership between the non-profit company and the city of Libourne. The purpose of the collection is to help people in need. Indeed, the collection of unused phones will make it possible to redistribute at least a hundred refurbished phones to people in precarious situations.

Valuing unused objects instead of creating new ones

According to a 2020 study conducted by Elabe for the ecosystem eco-organization, many French people have preciously keep old phones in their drawers without using them. Indeed, 8 out of 10 French people say they keep their old mobile phones, in case they do. On the other hand, while they may one day consider using it again if their current phone goes down, it also keeps their old phone for fear of the future of their personal data.

However, in our society phones are coming out faster and faster. From a societal point of view, this is a problem. The raw materials used to manufacture telephones are becoming scarcer and it seems essential to upgrade them. The set of unused phones is an important source of phones to recover. They could also be used for re-use as for recycling. It must be said that according to the AFNUM more than two thirds of the devices are still functional. Thus, the second-hand and recycling market must be democratized and structured.

Paradoxically, consumers seem to be increasingly concerned about the environmental consequences of the use of new technologies. Indeed, according to Acerp’s 2021 digital barometer, one in two people is ready to buy an eco-responsible smartphone. However, this purchase issues conditions and warranties regarding the reliability of the product. In this sense, solutions are emerging and actors are engaged in the marketing and recycling of phones to meet new challenges and to implement the revalorization of used phones.

Ecosystem, for its part, is a non-profit company of general interest approved by the public authorities. It manages used household and professional appliances. The aim is to extend their service life through repair and re-use. If this is not possible, it recycles them in the form of new depolluted and reusable raw materials. According to Ecosystem, by restoring the life of 50 million phones this would prevent the extraction of 85,000 tons of raw material. It would also create jobs that could not be relocated. Thus, for the company it is necessary to take up the challenge of a mass citizen mobilization in order to stop the waste of natural resources. This is indeed the mission in which it is embarking while also committing itself to come to the aid of the most disadvantaged.

On July 17, 2021 used phones were collected for the benefit of people in need. Photograph: Bire Melissa (CIA Agency)

Ecosystem and the City of Libourne take advantage of a large-scale event to help people in difficulty

In this context, Ecosytem has therefore chosen to organize a large solidarity and environmental collection. To carry out its action, it has partnered with the city of Libourne. The collection took place on July 17. The date was not set at random. Indeed, on July 17, an official ceremony of the Tour de France took place. Ecosystem could not miss the opportunity to shine in the village of the Tour de France in Libourne. At the heart of a popular event, the objective was on the one hand to raise awareness among libournais about the second life. Ecosystem wants to make it clear that it is possible and important to give new life to its old household appliances.

On the other hand, in order to reward everyone’s actions, Ecosystem has chosen to offer refurbished mobile phones to people in difficulty. In particular, it offered mobile phones to isolated people… But also people looking for work or in need to do administrative procedures.

In Libourne the collection took place in 4 collection points, at the Town Hall, at the Condorcet Media Library, at the Tourist Office and finally at the Maison des associations. However, the action does not stop there. For those who have not been able to donate their phone, it is always possible to do so by connecting to the site JeDonneMonTélé Only a few clicks and a bubble wrap later, your old phone is upgraded.


“Solidarity collection of old phones in Libourne” Ecosystem/Tour de France, press release of 8 June 2021

The digital barometer” Acerp, publication of 1 July 2021

Collection of mobile phones: the actors of the French sector are mobilizing to respond to a major challenge” Afnum, press release of November 12, 2019

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