Australians too chicken to recycle their old mobile phones this Christmas?

General, Media Releases, Oxfam Unwrapped article written on the 14 Dec 2009

MobileMuster and Oxfam are calling on Australians to recycle their old mobile phones over the Christmas period to make a difference to the planet and a family struggling against poverty.

For each mobile phone recycled using the free reply paid mailing label*, MobileMuster will donate the gift of a chicken valued at $10 through Oxfam Unwrapped. The ‘Old Phones for Chickens’ campaign will run until the end of December 2009.

“Mobile phone shipments traditionally spike at Christmas time in Australia. For those who have a new phone on their Christmas wish list it’s a good time to think about how their old phone can make a difference to someone in need,” says MobileMuster Recycling, Manager Rose Read.

According to Ms Read, Australians can be a little ‘chicken’ when it comes to handing over their mobile phone for recycling.

“The Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) estimates there are as many as 16 million old or broken phones tucked away in cupboards throughout homes and offices in Australia that could be recycled.

“Your old mobile might not be worth much to you, but recycling it can make a significant difference to the environment. This Christmas, you can also have a positive impact on a family lacking basic essentials like food and a source of income,” says Ms Read.

Mobile phones are not biodegradable, but up to 90 per cent of the materials can be recycled. Recycling your mobile is easy, and it’s free.

The Oxfam Unwrapped program has been running for the last five years. It allows people and communities in need of support to purchase items like goats, cooking sets and fruit trees allowing them to earn money for themselves and provide for their families.

One chicken might not sound like much, but according to Oxfam Australia Fundraising Manager, Leigh Stewart, it can make a significant difference to the life of a family in Laos.

“One chicken can mean the difference between nutritional health and financial security for a family in Laos. Families can use the eggs for food and can sell the excess at market to supply the family with a regular and reliable source of income.”

Oxfam also helps women in Laos develop skills in poultry rearing to enable them to contribute to their family’s income.

“Oxfam is excited to partner with MobileMuster this Christmas. Each mobile phone sent in for recycling will support our work in tackling poverty,” says Ms Stewart.

“Christmas is a time to share the good things in life with your family and others around you. Recycling an old mobile phone that is no longer needed is a great way to share the festive spirit in Australia and around the world,” says Ms Read.

Old Phones for Chickens

Recycle your mobile phone before December 31 and MobileMuster will donate the gift of a chicken through Oxfam Unwrapped

Follow these three easy steps to recycle your phone*:

  1. Visit and download a MobileMuster/ Oxfam Unwrapped reply paid label
  2. Follow packaging instructions
  3. Drop into your nearest mailbox or Australia Post Outlet for free by 31st December

* Must be posted by 31 December 2009. Terms and conditions apply. For MobileMuster/Oxfam Unwrapped Terms and Conditions refer to For more info on Oxfam Unwrapped program go to


For further information or to interview Ms Read or Ms Stewart, please contact:

About MobileMuster:

MobileMuster, is a not-for-profit program funded solely by mobile phone manufacturers and network carriers to collect and recycle mobile phones. All mobiles are recycled to the highest environmental standards.  None are refurbished or sold for reuse.