Mobile phone makers should provide dumping ground: Fomca

KUALA LUMPUR: Mobile phone makers should provide a special location or place for the public to dispose of useless and discarded sets, according to the Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (Fomca).

Its deputy president Mohd Yusof Abdul Rahman said there should be a provision for it in the e-waste law which the government would enforce in 2018.

"It is now a requirement to separate solid waste according to category, such as glass, plastic and paper. Similarly with discarded smartphones, they should have a special dumping ground," he told Bernama when contacted.

He said the relevant companies might be able to salvage components in the sets, which could then be reused or recycled.

"In the new law, companies such as Huawei, Apple and Samsung are required to provide a special location to dump such phones.

"Alternatively, the companies could buy back the sets; it will be an incentive for owners to sell and get a little bit of money rather than throwing away their phones indiscriminately and pollute the environment," he said.

He said mobile phones contained harmful toxins such as lead and mercury and therefore the government ought to also have a provision in the law to compel the public to dispose of unwanted sets properly.

On consumers who collect old phones as a hobby, Yusof said there was no harm in doing so but that the sets must be properly stashed where they would not pose a health risk to anyone.

The Natural Resources and Environment Ministry will introduce the e-waste (management and handling of household electrical and electronic waste) law in January next year.

Its minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said formulation of the law expected to be completed in 2018 was necessary considering that Malaysia currently does not have a specific system and regulation in handling e-waste disposal. — Bernama