Led by Finlands Nokia, a range of companies have voluntarily agreed to take additional steps to reduce their hazardous materials content, increase consumer awareness of recycling and cut the energy consumption of mobile phones.
Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said: Looked at globally, the production and consumption of products have a huge impact on our environment through the use of resources, energy and transport and the creation of waste. These pilot projects have successfully demonstrated how Integrated Product Policy can reduce this impact.
The project highlighted the life cycle approach, which involves taking account of the environmental impact at each stage of a products life.
The mobile phone stakeholders committed to going beyond the current regulatory standards and eliminating or reducing additional hazardous materials used in manufacturing including certain flame retardants and phthalates, reducing energy consumption by equipping mobile phones with reminders to unplug chargers once the batteries are recharged, developing measures to improve the take-back of old phones and thus increase the number recycled and providing more environmental information and guidance to consumers.
The implementation of these commitments will be monitored by the EC in a years time. It also plans to develop a list of products sold on the European market which have the greatest potential for environmental improvement, to help focus environmental policy.