Smartphone made of cut grass and recycled phones

A fully-functional mobile phone made of pulped grass clippings from a rugby pitch and old mobile phone parts was unveiled today.

The prototype took over 240 hours to build, according to the phone's makers, using tens of thousands of grass blades for the casing from Twickenham Stadium in south west London and locally-sourced wood for the buttons.

The phone was created to mark the launch of Recycle for Rugby – a social responsibility programme – and was commissioned by telecom firm O2.

Upcycling old tech into something new like mobile phones is a sustainable way to recycle unused gadgets as they are often discarded before being unrepairable.

Electronics are the fastest growing waste stream in the world, O2 said, and most of these devices can be repurposed one way or another.

The concept of the ‘eco-phone’ was thought out by designer Sean Miles who said: “We wanted to give the ‘old and forgotten’ a new lease of life and create a thought-provoking prototype that 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.”

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

Once in the casing, the pulped grass was then covered in an eco-friendly resin made from waste materials, hardening and bonding the grass together to protect the inner workings of the phone.

O2 Recycle - which encourages phone users to recycle their old devices - has received 1.4 million items since its launch in 2009 and reuses 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 to both O2 and non-O2 customers.

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