Seventy percent of all reused phones end up in developing countries. A big problem, because these countries are not able to recycle the old phones in a sustainable way. E-waste is incinerated and this releases a lot of waste products. This is bad for the population and the planet.
Closing The Loop makes sure that the mountains of electronics are brought to the West, so that from there they can be recycled in an environmentally friendly way. And from the gold and silver contained in those old phones, we make our jewelry.
Electronic waste (e-waste) is a big problem worldwide. In Europe we can recycle this waste properly, but unfortunately this is (still) difficult in many developing countries. In Africa, for example, 250 million phones are produced per year, but there is no sustainable recycling option on the entire continent. The old phones that you hand in here in the Netherlands often end up in developing countries. That in itself is not a bad thing, because it is good if electronics are reused, but when the devices are really broken, they cannot be recycled properly in third world countries. And that is where Closing the Loop comes in. Closing the Loop collects these phones so that they can be properly recycled in Europe and the valuable materials reused.
Circle back around
Closing the Loop's mission is to bring phones back full circle. The company helps business customers such as phone providers make the purchase of phones waste-free. This is also known as waste compensation: when a customer purchases new phones, Closing The Loop, in compensation for those new phones, provides for the collection and recycling of as many discarded phones. In several African countries, CTL has established a network with local partners to collect broken phones. For example, they work together with universities and owners of repair stores. They receive a fee for collecting old phones. CTL then collects the old phones and has them recycled. This prevents them from ending up in landfills.
40 old phones = 1 gram of gold
The gold and silver we use for our jewelry comes from the African countries of Ghana, Zambia, Cameroon, Uganda and Rwanda. There, Closing The Loop ensures that the phones are recycled in the West. We buy the gold and silver that remains after this sustainable process from Closing The Loop. And this is what we then turn into jewelry. For example, we need 55 phones for the 14k gold bracelet from our Eternal Collection. For the silver variant, we need twelve.