updated 10:20 am EDT, Thu September 21, 2006
As the most common form of high technology on Earth, cellphones pose an especially acute danger in terms of pollution: the handhelds require much more power than landlines and are thrown away by the millions each year, often leaking toxic chemicals. An initiative to curb the waste generated by these phones was launched on Thursday, says Reuters. Proposed by Nokia, the plan would have multiple cellphone makers (including US-based Motorola), carriers such as Vodafone, and the World Wildlife Fund all cooperating to reduce the pollution created by mobile phones at every step of their useful lifespans. Models released in 2007 should use fewer toxins and less overall power, says Nokia, and will have alerts that tell users to unplug wall chargers when a phone's battery is full. Similarly, carriers have pledged a greater emphasis on recycling and take-back programs and the WWF will educate cellphone owners on environmentally-friendly use.