Sunday , October 24 2021

Mobile recycling, a flourishing "green" business


"The iPhone can have three lives, it can be repaired twice, it is the strongest product with the longest lifetime" – explains Matthieu Millet.

Considering the exorbitant price of the latest devices, more and more consumers decide to buy refurbished smartphones, much cheaper than new ones, which also contributes to reducing the impact of these expensive devices on the environment.

"AND iPhone It can have three lives, it can be repaired twice. It is the most durable product with the longest service life "- he explains. Matthieu Milletthat for 39 years is located on the Remade front, located in the west of France, which deals in the repair of mobile phones, a company that should develop strongly in the following years, according to several studies.

This year, Remade hopes to introduce 800,000 to the market iPhone & # 39; s "reconstructed" at prices much lower than the prices of new devices (-26% in the case of a iPhone Xfor example, while the new XS model costs at least € 1,155).

"What he's rebuilding is a very good thing," says Erwann Fangeat, an engineer at the Environmental and Control Agency. Energy of France (Ademe, because of his acronym in French).

"The lifetime of a smartphone is at least 5 or 6 years, but 88% of French people change their mobile phone, although the old one is still working and important."

In the area Ramede, a large warehouse located near the tourist Mont Saint-Michel, hundreds of employees in white coats dismantle, control, repair and assemble thousands of iPhones each day.

Millet, who declares himself a group admirer Apple, wears jeans and sneakers and manages a team of 850 people, of whom 500 work in the repair and renewal of smartphones. In mid-October, he announced the employment of 200 additional employees before the end of the year.

At just 23 years old, he bought a TV repair company where he worked. In 2014, it built a reef of refurbished iPhones, earned 200,000 euros from February and 23 million euros a year.

In 2017, turnover reached 130 million euros and according to Millet, they are continuing "strong growth" this year.

Raw materials, damaged cell phones are bought in large quantities from telephone operators in France and the United States.

"We know how to put everything into pieces and put them back together, the product should not only work, but it should work just like it was when it was new," he emphasizes.

– Impact on the environment –

In addition to pockets, the cell repair and regeneration industry has benefits in the environment.

The construction of the smartphone has a significant impact on the environment. You need to extract from 95 to 225 kg of natural resources to build an apparatus weighing 300 grams. Each iPhone emits 54 to 110 kg of CO2 in the construction phase, according to Apple

"The longer the product life lasts, the more its impact on the environment is limited, because it delays the construction of a new mobile phone," says Fangeat. Thanks to the reconstructed iPhone, 'we avoid 90% of coal compared to the new', he adds.

In addition, Remade confirms its production processes to calculate how many tons of greenhouse gases the company saves, giving a second life to telephones. Therefore, he expects to obtain 100,000 tons of carbon credit, which he will be able to sell to more polluting companies.

"I'm not Greenpeace"Matthieu Millet has released" But I'm happy to have this model to know that it's good for people and the planet. "

The raw material that has to be recycled is still huge, because Ademe calculates that there are 30 million phones in private homes. "The priority is at least to delay the purchase and send it for repair when it breaks down," he says Fangeat

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