Twickenham grass in smartphone


Published: Thursday 19th March 2015 by The News Editor

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A smartphone made with grass cut from the home of England’s rugby union team has been unveiled.

The “fully functioning” device has been created using recycled phone parts and pulped grass clippings from Twickenham Stadium, O2 said.

Ahead of this weekend’s final RBS 6 Nations fixtures, the prototype aims to encourage more people to recycle their old phones and has been unveiled as part of the RFU’s social responsibility programme, Try For Change.

The phone’s designer Sean Miles said: “We wanted to give the old and forgotten a new lease of life and create a thought provoking prototype which would make people stop and think about recycling in a new and different way.

“The phone itself is incredibly striking and those who use it can pick out every blade of grass and imagine the incredible rugby games which have been played over them.”

According to the phone’s makers, the device took more than 240 hours to build, using tens of thousands of grass blades for the casing and locally-sourced wood for the buttons.

The grass was freeze-dried within two hours of being cut from Twickenham Stadium before going through a pulping process and then moulded into a template.

Once in the casing, the pulped grass was covered in an eco-friendly resin to bond the grass together to protect the inner workings of the phone.

An O2 spokeswoman said: “The piece showcases how old tech has the exciting potential to be upcycled into something new, original and unique, and to inspire more people to recycle their old devices.”

According to O2, electronics are the fastest growing waste stream in the world because gadgets are often discarded before they are unrepairable or technically outdated.

O2 Recycle – which encourages phone users to recycle their old devices – has received 1.4 million items since its launch in 2009 and repurposes nine out of 10 gadgets.

The programme offers cash payments of up to £260 for gadgets, including mobile phones, tablets, MP3 players, handheld consoles, digital cameras and satellite navigation devices.

It is available to both O2 and non-O2 customers and has paid out £100 million to customers, with a proportion of profits going to the Think Big fund to encourage young people to set up projects to benefit their communities.

Bill Eyres, head of sustainability at O2, said: “We are calling on people across the country to recycle unwanted gadgets and help raise the £350,000 we have pledged to support the RFU’s Try For Change social responsibility programme, aimed at promoting rugby as a powerful tool for social change.”

Published: Thursday 19th March 2015 by The News Editor

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