KPN is the first Dutch telecom provider to introduce the ecosim

Fully recycled SIM cards made from refrigerators

KPN is the first in the Netherlands to introduce the ecosim for all its customers. The new SIM card, made from recycled refrigerators, will soon be the standard for all new physical SIM cards. In this new form, the pass that you click the SIM card out of consists of 100 per cent recycled plastic. KPN, one of the most sustainable telecom providers worldwide, wants to be almost completely circular by 2025. The ecosim is contributing to this target. 

4.5 billion SIM cards are produced globally every year. KPN issues several million SIM cards to new and existing customers annually. Plastic is the main component of the SIM card. The ecosim replaces tons of plastic every year and can also be recycled later for new purposes. 

“To achieve our circular target, we are subjecting everything in the chain to research, to see where we can make it more sustainable”, says KPN’s Jean-Pascal Van Overbeke. “Admittedly, the most sustainable solution is the e-SIM, which KPN also offers, of course. Unfortunately, not all devices are equipped for this yet, and so we have looked for a circular solution for the physical SIM card. The arrival of the ecosim means that almost all equipment that we supply as KPN is now made from recycled plastic.” 

Made from used refrigerators 
The ecosim is made from old refrigerators because the plastic found in the apparatus is not only strong but also flexible enough for processing into a full-fledged SIM card. What’s more, the material can also be reprocessed for new purposes after its new life. This way, KPN is not only reducing the mountain of plastic, but is also going further, by no longer offering the SIM card in plastic packaging. The packaging is made from FSC-friendly hard paper. “In this way, we are also meeting a legitimate wish of many customers in terms of sustainability. We see that more than of half of customers indicate that sustainability plays a role in their choice of telecom provider.” 

No more new plastic stock 
KPN’s current stock of SIM cards is currently only being supplemented with the new ecosim made from old refrigerators. It is expected that the first customers will receive a recycled SIM card in the next few weeks.