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Vodafone Eco-SIMs coming to SA and Egypt

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Vodafone is upping its green game and launching Eco-SIM cards made from recycled plastic that will be available in South Africa and Egypt.

Starting from October 2021, the global telco says it will provide customers with new Eco-SIMs "in the half-sized format made from recycled plastic, progressively replacing SIM cards that are currently made from new plastic," as a way to try reduce its impact on the environment.

The Eco-SIMs will be rolled out across Vodafone's 12 European markets and also in Turkey, Egypt and South Africa.

In 2020, Vodafone already began global rollout of half-sized SIM card holders which it said reduced the amount of plastic used by around 340 tons a year, equivalent to a reduction of 1,760 tons of CO2e.

The introduction of Eco-SIM further eliminates the need for 320 tons of virgin plastic to be manufactured each year, until eSIMs becomes more widespread. This has the potential to save an additional 1,280 tons of CO2e per year from not manufacturing new plastic for the cards.

"Our ultimate goal is to eliminate the need to supply plastic SIMs entirely. We have already halved the amount of plastic used in our SIM cards, and the introduction of Eco-SIMs made from recycled plastic will further reduce the environmental impact of our activities," said Alex Froment-Curtil, Vodafone group chief commercial officer in a statement.

Since 2020, Vodafone has been on a plastic crusade, eliminating all unnecessary plastic and disposable single-use items across its retail stores and offices.

By 2030, Vodafone plans to eliminate all carbon emissions from its own activities and from energy it purchases and uses. The telco has also pledged to reuse, resell, or recycle 100% of the company’s network waste by 2025.

It is also moving towards purchasing all electricity from renewable sources. Vodafone's entire European operations – including mobile and fixed networks, data centers, retail and offices – are already 100% powered by electricity from renewables and it is now working to achieving the same step-change in Africa by 2025.

In May 2021, Vodafone joined forces with four of Europe’s leading network operators to launch a new pan-industry Eco Rating labelling scheme to help consumers identify and compare the most sustainable mobile phones and encourage suppliers to reduce the environmental impact of their devices.

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*Top image source: Vodacom

— The Staff, Connecting Africa

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