Our Gold Mine: Closing The Loop

Onze goudmijn: Closing The Loop

Seventy percent of all recycled telephones end up in developing countries. A big problem, because these countries are not able to recycle the old telephones in a sustainable way. E-waste is incinerated and a lot of waste is released as a result. Bad for the population and the planet. 

Closing The Loop ensures that the mountains of electronics are brought to the West, so that they can be recycled from there in an environmentally friendly way. And we make our jewelry from the gold and silver that are in those old telephones.

Recycle e-waste

Electronic waste (e-waste) is a major problem worldwide. In Europe we can properly recycle this waste, but unfortunately this is (still) difficult in many developing countries. For example, 250 million telephones are produced in Africa every year, but there is still no sustainable recycling option on the entire continent. The old telephones that you hand in here in the Netherlands often end up in developing countries. That in itself is not a problem, 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's where Closing The Loop comes into play. Closing the Loop collects these telephones in order to recycle them properly in Europe and to reuse the valuable materials.

Circle around again

Closing the Loop's mission is to complete the circle of phones again. The company helps business customers such as telephone providers make the purchase of telephones waste-free. This is also referred to as waste compensation: if a customer buys new telephones, Closing The Loop ensures the collection and recycling of the same number of discarded telephones to compensate for those new telephones. Together with local partners, CTL has set up a network in various African countries to collect broken telephones. For example, they collaborate with universities and repair shop owners. They receive an allowance for collecting old telephones. CTL then collects the old telephones and recycles them. This prevents them from ending up in landfills.

40 old telephones = 1 gram of gold

The gold and silver that 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 then we make jewelry out of it. For example, for the 14k gold bracelet from our Eternal Collection, we need 55 phones. For the silver variant, there are twelve.

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