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Eco-SIM: The SIM card made from recycled refrigerators

March 24, 2021

Thales and Veolia have joined forces to create the first eco-designed SIM card made from recycled plastic.

According to Veolia the use of recycled materials in a special industrial production process will eliminate the need for close to 5,000 metric tonnes of virgin plastic a year, and will help to meet the ambitious sustainable development objectives of the Thales Group and the mobile phone operators that use its products.

With almost 4.5 billion SIM cards produced worldwide in 2020, Thales and Veolia have joined forces to help this market show its green credentials.

The polymer plastic found in high concentrations in waste electrical and electronic equipment is processed at Veolia’s recycling plant in France. Thales engineers have worked with Veolia’s experts to develop a special process that uses this newly recycled material to manufacture SIM cards that meet the mobile industry’s requirements.

The Eco-SIM Card has a neutral carbon footprint as the CO2 emissions from the manufacturing process and electronic components that cannot be recycled are fully offset by Thales’s comprehensive carbon offset programme. Veolia added that this innovative product will support mobile phone operators in their ecological transformation and help them address their subscribers’ environmental concerns.

“All of our everyday objects could soon be made from recycled materials thanks to visionary, responsible companies like Thales. The example of the SIM card offers a glimpse into the vast field of possibilities opened up by eco-design. Our industrial ecology services, as this circular economy loop, enable us to support our clients’ ecological transformation” said Anne le Guennec, Director of Veolia’s Waste activities in France.

“This innovation project with Veolia will support our telecom customers in their ecological transition by transforming waste into environmentally responsible SIM cards,” said Emmanuel Unguran, Vice President, Mobile Connectivity Solutions at Thales. “This long-term commitment is an integral part of the Group’s ambitious policy of sustainable development and social responsibility and offers mobile phone operators a new opportunity to enhance their value proposition to consumers in terms of sustainability.”

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