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Vodacom launches eco-friendly SIM Cards

New SIM cards issued by Vodacom will be produced out of recycled plastic, which reduces plastic impact on the environment.

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Vodacom is launching Eco-SIM cards made from recycled plastic as part of the company’s ongoing commitment to reduce its impact on the environment by halving its greenhouse gas emissions by 2025. Vodacom will soon provide customers with new Eco-SIMs in the half-sized format made from recycled plastic, progressively replacing SIM cards currently made from new plastic. The Eco-SIM launch in South Africa forms an integral part of parent company Vodafone’s rollout in 14 of its other markets.

Balesh Sharma, MD for Vodacom South Africa, says: “At Vodacom South Africa, we have always maintained that business success should not come at the cost to the planet. We believe that urgent and sustained action is required to address climate emergency, which is why we constantly launch products and initiatives that aim to preserve the planet in line with our purpose. The introduction of the Eco-Sim cards in South Africa is another way in which we strive to mitigate against our environmental impact.”

The introduction of Eco-SIM cards follows the recent Eco Rating initiative, launched to encourage consumers to make conscious purchasing choices when picking a mobile handset. The pan-industry Eco Rating for mobile phones across multiple brands carries a distinct label at point of sale where these devices are available for sale to customers.

Davide Tacchino, managing executive of terminals at Vodacom, says: “We are constantly researching and launching initiatives that help us create a sustainable future and preserve our natural resources. The launch of these eco-friendly SIMs forms part of our overall purpose strategy to create a better future and more sustainable world through the adoption of sustainable practices like recycling plastic SIMs, thereby reducing waste. As part of this initiative, we aim to minimise and eliminate plastic usage at all our touch points, including our warehouse and our different logistics and distribution chains.”

Vodacom aims to minimise and eventually eliminate the usage of plastics at other business touch points. Although Vodacom offers eSIM support on wearables in South Africa, most mobile customers still require a physical SIM card for their mobile device until eSIM support for all devices become more widespread.

Vodacom has eliminated virtually all unnecessary plastic and disposable single-use items across retail stores and some of its offices. This includes the removal of plastic straws, stirrers, cups and cutlery in its canteens. In 2019, Vodacom also eliminated the use of plastic bags across its stores, and replaced them with recyclable brown paper bags. All Vodacom stores now use an e-mail receipting system, which sends receipts via e-mail of SMS replacing the need to print receipts and saving on paper consumption.

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