Green SIM cards made from recycled fridges put the freeze on pollution

Veolia and Thales have teamed up to create the eco-designed SIM card, which could eliminate the need for around 5,000 tonnes of virgin plastic a year

Big Zero Report 2022

Materials taken from old refrigerators will be recycled to create what is claimed to be the first eco-designed SIM card made from recycled plastic.

Waste management company Veolia and advanced technologies leader Thales have joined forces to launch a production process they believe could eliminate the need for around 5,000 tonnes of virgin plastic a year.

A recycling plant in France, owned by Veolia, will process the polymer plastics found in high concentrations in electrical and electronic waste.

Thales’ engineers have developed a process that will use that material to manufacture SIM cards, ultimately helping reduce waste and allow mobile phone operators to meet their sustainability goals.

It is estimated nearly 4.5 billion SIM cards were produced globally last year.

Anne le Guennec, Director of Veolia’s Waste activities in France, said: “The example of the SIM card offers a glimpse into the vast field of possibilities opened up by eco-design.

“Our industrial ecology services, as this circular economy loop, enable us to support our clients’ ecological transformation.”

Emmanuel Unguran, Vice President, Mobile Connectivity Solutions at Thales, commented: “This innovation project with Veolia will support our telecom customers in their ecological transition by transforming waste into environmentally responsible SIM cards.”

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