The amount of mobile phone handsets in Australia is building and could have a detrimental affect on the environment, according to new statistics.
The report, Australia: A Nation of Hoarders, commissioned by not-for-profit mobile phone recycling program, MobileMuster, and Ebay Australia, said 14 to 16 million unused mobile phones are lying in homes and offices around the country.
It revealed mobile phones up to 12 years old are still being given away for recycling and that 41 per cent of 'hoarded' mobiles are four or more years old.
"With 24.22 million Australian mobile phone subscribers upgrading every 18 to 24 months, the potential environmental impact of old handsets, batteries and accessories is growing,” recycling manager of the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA), Rose Read said in a statement.
"If the 14 to 16 million units stashed around the country were recycled, the materials recovered could produce 3.2 million aluminium cans, 160,000 plastic fence posts, and save enough greenhouse gases to take 5,180 cars permanently off the road."
The full report is available online.