Vodafone is switching to sim cards made using recycled plastic

In 2020, Vodafone committed itself to reaching net-zero emissions by 2040 (image: Alan Lu/Vodaphone)
In 2020, Vodafone committed itself to reaching net-zero emissions by 2040 (image: Alan Lu/Vodaphone)

Telecoms giant Vodafone has announced it will only use sim cards made from recycled plastic.

From October onwards, the firm will begin rolling out its new ‘eco-sims’ - although they will not reach the UK until April 2022.

Vodafone said the move would reduce its virgin plastic needs by 320 tonnes annually.

It claimed this saving was equivalent to 1,280 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.

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    The cards are set to be rolled out across all of Vodafone’s 12 markets in Europe – including the UK – as well as in Egypt, Turkey and South Africa.

    Vodafone group chief commercial officer Alex Froment-Curtil told PA: “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.”

    Vodafone said physical sim cards would eventually become obsolete as the latest smart phones use electronic versions.


    Vodafone has already halved the size of its plastic sim card holders (image: Shutterstock)

    Vodafone’s environmental targets

    It comes after the telecoms company moved to halve the size of its plastic sim-card holders in 2020.

    This move saved 340 tonnes of plastic per year - or 1,760 tonnes of CO2 emissions - Vodafone said.


    In November 2020, the firm also committed itself to reaching net-zero emissions by 2040 - a target that is in line with those agreed by world leaders at COP21 in Paris in 2015.

    This goal has seen it move to renewable energy sources in order to power its network, and improve the energy efficiency of its equipment.

    Vodafone’s announcement comes ahead of the COP26 summit in Glasgow, at which the UK government hopes to convince world leaders and the private sector to adopt more ambitious climate change targets.

    It follows a report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which found the Paris climate targets were likely to be out of reach.