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Wireless manufacturers have developed eco-friendly devices and accessories such as carbon neutral phones and solar-powered handsets and chargers. They are also continually improving the design of wireless devices and packaging to be more lightweight and environmentally-friendly.

Green Working Group

CTIA’s Green Working Group (GWG) is another part of the wireless industry’s continued commitment to being “green.” The GWG is comprised of the following companies: Alcatel-Lucent; Alltel; Apple; Asurion; AT&T, Brightpoint, Inc; Brightstar Corp; Cellular One; Ericsson, Inc.; HTC America, Inc.; Motorola Mobility, LLC; Nex-Tech Wireless; Nokia, Inc.; nTELOS Wireless; Personal Communications Devices, LLC (PCD); Qualcomm Incorporated; Research in Motion; Samsung Telecommunications America, L.P.; Smith Micro Software, Inc; SouthernLINC Wireless; Sprint Nextel Corporation; Syniverse; T-Mobile USA; TracFone; U.S. Cellular; and Verizon Wireless.
                                         
The CTIA Green Working Group has developed three components to encourage more recycling of “old” devices and accessories:

  1. Develop a take-back program for devices and accessories and to educate consumers about these programs.
  2. Use third party recyclers that comply with applicable federal and state electronic recycling laws.
  3. Develop a common approach for measuring handset collection rates with a goal of increasing the collection of devices and electronic accessories either directly or indirectly by 20 percent by 2015.

Even though the new generations of wireless devices currently weigh approximately 79g, which is 42 percent less than earlier models, CTIA’s Green Working Group has developed five benchmarks on postpaid, or contract, handset packaging.

  1. The participating wireless companies will eliminate plastic inserts and trays from postpaid wireless device packaging by the end of 2013.
  2. All U.S. postpaid wireless packaging will be labeled with internationally recognized symbols to facilitate recycling of products, accessory boxes and contents by December 31, 2013.
  3. The postpaid packaging elements will use less than 10 percent volatile organic compounds, including labels by the end of 2013.
  4. Water-based adhesives or self-sealing tab locking boxes will be used by June 2014.
  5. All postpaid packaging material, including the user guides, will be printed with non-petroleum based inks by the end of 2014.

The following companies are participating in the packaging benchmarks: Asurion; AT&T; Brightpoint, Inc; Brightstar Corp; HTC America, Inc.; Motorola Mobility, LLC; Nokia, Inc.; Samsung Telecommunications America, L.P.; Sprint Nextel Corporation; T-Mobile USA; U.S. Cellular; and Verizon Wireless. Additional companies have indicated they will participate.