Filipino consumers think that too many new mobile phone models are released each year. This was the finding of a survey commissioned by Greenpeace that covered ten countries, including the Philippines. More than nine out of 10 respondents think it is important that their smartphones are ‘designed to last,’ the survey said.
“The survey results show that consumers are now more aware of what they want in their smart phone purchases,” said Abigail Aguilar, Detox Campaigner of Greenpeace Philippines.
“Over half of respondents across the countries surveyed, including the Philippines, agree that manufacturers make too many new phone models, and each with very short lifespans. This practice puts too much strain on our environment because of the hazardous chemicals, from the production of our phones down to the moment they are disposed of in huge e-waste sites,” Aguilar added.
Mobile phones are some of the most frequently replaced of all small electronics products. A United Nations University report in 2014 showed that up to 3 million metric tonnes of e-waste is generated from small IT products, such as mobile phones and personal computers. This represents a massive waste of resources and a source of contamination from hazardous chemicals.
A whopping 96 per cent of all Filipinos surveyed consider it important that a new smartphone is not produced using hazardous chemicals.
Here are some of the key findings from the survey conducted in the Philippines:
·80 per cent of the respondents think that mobile phone manufacturers release too many new models each year.
·55 per cent had their phones repaired by somebody other than the manufacturer (street repair shop, a friend, or an online repair shop).
·According to the survey, 4 out of 5 Filipinos want their mobiles to be easily dismantled, repaired and recycled if damaged.
·98 per cent of the respondents consider having a long-lasting battery is an important feature of a new smartphone
·92 per cent of the consumers surveyed believe it is important that smartphones be made in factories powered by renewable energy sources.
While there is common concern among Filipinos to have a smartphone that ‘is designed to last’, ‘is easy to repair if it gets damaged’, ‘has a long-lasting battery’, ‘is not made with hazardous chemicals’, ‘is made in factories powered by renewable energy sources’ and ‘is made of parts that can be fully recycled’, these are yet to be translated into behaviors that reflect the use of a lesser number of smartphones by using each for a longer period of time. More than 60 percent of respondents get new devices to replace their previous devices even if those are still in working condition.
The survey is conducted by Greenpeace as part of its True Innovation campaign, which challenges the technology sector to embrace innovation to protect our environment and our future.
“True Innovation is about closing the loop in the production of electronic products. This means that resources are reused and recycled, and the use of conflict minerals are avoided. It also means the elimination of the use of hazardous chemicals and promoting the use of renewable energy in production. True Innovation seeks to engage both the ICT industry and the government to take action on the rising problem of electronic waste,” Aguilar explained.
As part of its campaign, Greenpeace is also inviting the public to #AnoiTech: A Fair Advocating for Sustainable Mobile Technology, which will be held on October 22-23, 2016, at the Activity Pod 2, 7th Street corner Lane P, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. The fair will take the visitors through the life cycle of mobile phones, demonstrating the total environmental and social toll, as well as the solutions available toward truly innovative and fulfilling lifestyles.
Notes to editors
 Greenpeace East Asia commissioned Ipsos MORI to conduct the survey. Research was carried out online among a nationally representative quota sample of c. 1,000 adults in each country. It was conducted between July and August 2016, among adults aged 18-75 in USA, adults aged 16-70 in Germany, 16-60 in Russia, 18-59 in Mexico, 18-55 in South Korea, 18-50 in China, 18-50 in the Philippines, and 18-55 in Indonesia. Data have been weighted to the known population profile in each country.
 United Nations University (UNU) study on e-waste can be found here.
 More information on Greenpeace’s campaigns can be found here.