A new Royal Mail dangerous goods regulation disallowing lithium batteries (used in mobiles phones) from being transported in flimsy packaging such as freepost envelopes could stop so many old phones from being sent to charities each year.
Many charities in the UK have supplied freepost envelopes in order for people to donate old mobile phones with very little effort. If people now have to wrap and take old phones to the post office then its very likely that far less will be sent in to be recycled.
Another effect of the new regulation will be that as well as less phones being sent in for recycling charities will have to increase their postage costs which will affect how much money they make. One charity reported that as many as 120,000 old handsets were sent in last year due to the simplicity of their freepost envelope.
The new rule states that ‘equipment containing mobile phones or lithium batteries must be packaged in strong packaging and must be secured against movement. They must be packaged in order to prevent accidental activation”
The new rule was created in January by Royal Mail as lithium batteries have been known to catch fire or be potentially dangerous when stored in the holds in Planes.
One of the UK’s biggest recyclers is currently talking with Royal Mail to try and come up with a better solution to the problem.
Steps to Follow When Sending Unwanted Mobiles to Online Recyclers
Popular mobile recycler Money4urMobile suggests the following 4 simple steps to follow when sending in old mobile handsets:
- Switch your phone off, leave the battery inside the phone and do not charge it before sending it in.
- Package your unwanted mobile using either your own envelope or one provided by the recycler. Put your handset in either the original box it was bought in or secure it with bubble wrap so it can’t move in transit. You should not put more than 2 items in the same envelope.
- Make sure the package is securely sealed and stick the label on the front if necessary.
- Take your pack to the Post Office and send it using the freepost address provided or for higher value phones use Special Delivery.
You can learn more about the new lithium battery postage regulations at Money4urMobile here