Vodafone launches half-sized SIM cards to reduce plastic waste

Vodafone launches half-sized SIM cards to reduce plastic waste

December 10, 2019
Press Release: Vodafone

A range of sustainability initiatives from Vodafone will cut down not only plastics but also e-waste

Vodafone is replacing the standard credit card-sized SIM holder with a new half-sized format that reduces by 50% the amount of plastic used to produce SIMs as part of a wider strategy to minimize the company’s use of all non-essential plastics.

Starting this Christmas, Vodafone stores will offer customers a range of eco-friendly accessories under the label ‘Red Loves Green’. These will include 100% biodegradable or recyclable phone cases made from, for example, re-used ocean plastic, plus charging banks and docks made from sustainable materials and plastic-free packaging. Vodafone plans to expand its range of ‘Red Loves Green’ products at retail during 2020.

The more ethical, reliable and sustainable ‘Fairphone 3’ smartphone will also be available in the run up to Christmas in five Vodafone markets – Germany, Italy, the UK, Spain, and Ireland – as part of a strategic partnership between the two companies. Fairphone 3 is sold with sustainable and re-usable packaging and manufactured from responsibly sourced, conflict-free tin and tungsten, recycled copper and plastics, and gold sourced by Fairtrade, whose circular innovation lead, Miquel Ballester Salvà, delivered a superb presentation recently at E-Waste World Conference & Expo.

“Halving our environmental impact means not only tackling material issues such as our carbon footprint and e-waste, but also taking action in other areas where we have an impact, such as the non-essential or disposable plastics we use in our retail stores and offices,” said Joakim Reiter, Vodafone director of External Affairs.

“Building on many of the initiatives launched across Vodafone’s markets, we want a consistent approach everywhere we operate. This begins with the roll out of half-sized SIMs, tackling unnecessary plastics in our offices and offering our customers eco-friendly accessories.”

These initiatives align with Vodafone’s purpose to improve the lives of one billion people while halving its environmental impact by 2025. This commitment by Vodafone includes halving its carbon footprint and purchasing all electricity from renewable sources by 2025. Vodafone has also committed to re-use, resell or recycle 100% of its network waste and help customers extend the lives of the devices they already own.

The new half-sized SIM cards will be provided to customers in several European markets from the beginning of 2020 and will progressively replace the use of full-sized card holders across all Vodafone’s 24 markets.

The initiative alone will reduce Vodafone’s plastic waste by more than 340 tons per year, and will save up to 15 tons of the CO2e emitted during production and transportation for every ton of plastic reduced – a reduction of more than 5,000 tons of C02e annually.

Building on initiatives already in place in several Vodafone markets, Vodafone has also committed to eliminating all unnecessary plastics and other disposable single-use items where there are lower-impact alternatives across all Vodafone retail stores and offices in 24 countries by the end of March 2020.

Vodafone’s 7,700 retail stores worldwide will no longer use disposable plastic bags and will also remove or restrict plastic marketing or promotional materials, replacing them with alternatives with a lower environmental impact.

In Vodafone’s offices, commonly used plastic office consumables – including pens and folders – will be substituted where feasible with re-usable, recyclable office stationery. Vodafone will also ensure that disposable, single-use plastic bottles, cutlery, plates and straws used in catering are eliminated, while encouraging the use of re-usable bottles, cups or glassware.

Vodafone is also engaging suppliers to reduce, remove or recycle excessive packaging in order to minimise plastic packaging in warehouses.

E-Waste World Conference & Expo 2020 takes place from Wednesday 18 November to Thursday 19 November at the Kap Europa, Frankfurt Messe, Germany. To register for this highly focused, solutions-driven event, please click here. For sponsorship and exhibition opportunities, please email peter@trans-globalevents.com

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