Regenersis has produced a research paper in an attempt to start setting industry standards for the reuse and recycling of unwanted handsets across Europe.
The company said it is the first step to setting industry standards in this sector, of which there are an estimated 15 million handsets replaced each year in the UK alone.
The standards focus on three main areas, which include the removal of all personal data from handsets received to protect the identity of those that have returned the phone and segregating working from non-working devices at source rather than shipping all products received to developing economies.
It also focuses on a zero landfill policy and ensuring that all non-working, non-repairable products are recycled in their home market rather than in places such as China, India or Africa, minimising impact on the environment.
Regenersis managing director Mark Franklin said: “The reuse and recycling market is becoming more crowded and we want to ensure that the consumer, when making a choice of recyclers, is making an informed and responsible decision.
“By implementing these standards, we protect the consumer by removing all data from the devices received. We protect the markets to which our products are resold, by only remarketing quality products and we protect the environment by ensuring that nothing goes to landfill.”
The company said it conducted research in December 2008 that found that over 90 per cent of consumers would be shocked, annoyed or disappointed if their mobile had not been handled in this manner.