Telecoms giant Vodafone will this month be rolling out its new Eco-SIM cards, made entirely from recycled plastic. The new eco-model will be initially launched across all 12 of its European markets, in addition to Egypt, Turkey and South Africa.
According to the company the new initiative would cut its virgin plastic production by 320 tonnes per year, curbing all emissions associated with manufacturing in the process and saving the equivalent of 1,280 tonnes of CO2 per year.
“Our ultimate aim is to remove plastic SIM cards entirely, but switching to Eco-SIMs, made from 100% recycled plastic, is a big step in the right direction,” said Ahmed Essam, CEO of Vodafone UK in a statement. “This is one of many changes we’re making to help us and our customers reduce our impact on the planet. In addition to the introduction of Eco-SIM, our business is now powered by 100% renewable electricity, we’re extending our device reuse and recycling schemes and we’ve eliminated single-use plastic packaging from our deliveries.”
“We’ll be introducing Eco-SIMs for all of our customers in the UK from 1 April 2022,” he added.
The group halved the size of its SIM cards last year in its initial bid to curb its plastic consumption – a move that the company said reduced its plastic production by 340 tonnes a year. An entirely online eSIM card is already available through the group in European markets, which the team hope to make its predominant SIM product, with the Eco-SIM acting as a halfway point to this aim.
Vodafone has a wider target of reaching net-zero across its UK operations by 2027, and across its entire global supply chain by 2040. Its efforts to reduce plastic in service of these aims has been underway for some years now, with the company reporting in 2020 that it had ‘eliminated all unnecessary plastic and disposable single-use items across all Vodafone’s retail stores and offices’.