In line with its stance to protect the environment, and to mark “Environmental Awareness and Reflection” in Puerto Rico via its social responsibility program “Uno con el Ambiente,” FirstBank announced it has entered into a partnership with E-Cycling Puerto Rico Inc., Martin Peña Recicla, and Sun Colors graphic printers, to launch a cell phone recycling initiative.
The program kicked off this week and will run in 23 of the bank’s branches. Funds raised thorugh the disposal of the devices collected will be donated to Martin Peña Recicla, a nonprofit organization that has a management and solid waste disposal program in communities surrounding the Martín Peña Channel in San Juan.
There are about 3 million active cell phones in Puerto Rico and on average, owners replace them once a year. If these devices are not recycled, the hazardous components they contain remain in the environment for a long time.
“Through our corporate social responsibility program, ‘Uno con el Ambiente,’ during the past five years we have been actively engaged in programs and initiatives with nonprofit organizations to improve the environment in our communities, and developing a recycling program, by reducing the use, reusing and recycling of materials, and decreasing energy consumption in our offices,” said Carmen Pagán, FirstBank’s senior vice president of compliance and community reinvestment.
“With this new initiative, we will help to reduce cell phones contamination created when they are not handled properly or are dropped in the garbage,” she said.
FirstBank will be receiving devices, chargers and accessories at its branches in Aguada, Barrio Obrero, Caguas Plaza Centro, De Diego, Fajardo, Forest Hills, Guayama, Guaynabo, Humacao, Las Catalinas, Manatí, Mayagüez Mall, Muñoz Rivera, Plaza Aquarium, Plaza Carolina, Plaza Escorial, Plaza Las Américas, Plaza Río Hondo, Ponce Centro, Ponce Coto Laurel, San Patricio, Santurce or Trujillo Alto; as well as HELP Martín Peña Recicla.
“We thank FirstBank’s interest in supporting our initiative to recycle cell phones, chargers and accessories. We face the increasing environmental damage caused by these devices on a daily basis, which increases by the replacement proliferation with new models that hit the market on a monthly basis,” said José Rivera, president of E-Cycling Puerto Rico Inc.
“Therefore, we encourage everyone to responsibly dispose of these equipments, when no longer in use,” he said.