Demonstration of the Environmentally Sound Management of Used and End-of-Life Mobile Phones in Trinidad and Tobago – Virtual Inception Meeting

The Follow-up Partnership to the Partnership for Action on Computing Equipment (PACE) launched a call for project proposals in December 2020 to implement on-the-ground solutions developed by PACE for combatting the rising levels of e-waste. In addition to computing equipment, the Follow-up Partnership to PACE also seeks to ensure the environmentally sound management of mobile phones. The project entitled “Demonstration of the Environmentally Sound Management of Used and End-of-Life Mobile Phones in Trinidad and Tobago” was developed by the BCRC-Caribbean in response to the call for proposals and endorsed by the Ministry of Planning and Development, the national focal point for the Basel Convention in Trinidad and Tobago. The project was approved for implementation by the Secretariat of the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions in 2021.

This project was conceptualized as the concerns surrounding the need for the ESM of used mobile phones is well recognized. According to statistics provided by the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT), there were 1,947,000 active mobile phone plans across Trinidad and Tobago in 2018. This indicates that the number of mobile phones in use outnumbers the country’s population. Although the system for the distribution of new mobile phones to the population is efficient, there is no mechanism to ensure their Environmentally Sound Management (ESM) when they are no longer in use. There is limited national awareness on the ESM of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), hence many people store used mobile phones at home or dispose of them with municipal waste. Additionally, the BCRC-Caribbean recognized the recent local initiatives undertaken by a local service organization in collaboration with Piranha International Limited as an opportunity for expansion and continuity, through which the relevant guidance documents developed under the Basel Convention to demonstrate best environmental practices for the ESM on used and end-of-life (EOL) mobile phones can be tested.

The Project Inception Workshop for the Demonstration of the Environmentally Sound Management of Used and End-of-Life Mobile Phones in Trinidad and Tobago served to formally kick off the project’s execution, on Tuesday February 01, 2022. The meeting was hosted by the BCRC-Caribbean, as the executing agency for the project.

The Project seeks to accomplish the following objectives:

  • To test (i) the Basel Convention e-waste Technical Guidelines and (ii) the Mobile Phone Partnership Initiative’s (MPPI) Guidance Document on the ESM of EOL and used mobile phones using a local internationally certified e-waste recycling company;
  • To assess the national technical and infrastructural capacity for the recovery of waste mobile phones and for the refurbishment of non-waste mobile phones;
  • To provide clear recommendations for policy makers in Trinidad and Tobago on the implementation of a national model for the ESM of the mobile phones waste stream;
  • To develop communication products in order to stimulate behavioural change in Trinidad and Tobago as it relates to the ESM of EOL and used mobile phones, thereby preventing the landfilling of used mobile phones and increasing opportunities for refurbishment and re-use.

In an effort to stimulate behavioural change in accordance with Objective 4, the BCRC-Caribbean has launched a pre- Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices Survey on used and end-of-life mobile phones and is offering incentives for completion of same. To participate in the survey, please click here.