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ZOLO: A Tech Recycling Startup that Aims to Make a Difference in the Philippines

What is ZOLO and why is it coming to the Philippines?

ZOLO is a tech recycling startup that was founded in Australia in 2020. It provides a convenient and responsible way for businesses and households to dispose of their old tech products, such as phones, laptops, and tablets, while also reducing the amount of electronic waste (e-waste) that ends up in landfills. ZOLO also refurbishes and reuses the tech products that it collects, giving them a new life and preventing them from becoming environmental hazards.

ZOLO has announced that it will soon extend its tech recycling service to the Philippines by setting up a facility in Santa Rosa, Laguna this year. The startup sees the Philippines as a potential market for its service, as the country is one of the top producers of e-waste in Southeast Asia. According to the United Nations, the Philippines generated an estimated 3.9 kilograms of e-waste per capita in 2019, which was before the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic that spurred digital transformation and increased reliance on tech devices.

By introducing its tech recycling solution to the country, ZOLO hopes to create several benefits both for Filipino businesses and communities. The startup aims to contribute to environmental sustainability, data security, social impact, and economic development through its service.

How does ZOLO promote environmental sustainability?

ZOLO promotes environmental sustainability by employing a circular approach to tech recycling. This means that instead of throwing away old tech products, ZOLO refurbishes and reuses them, extending their lifespan and reducing their environmental impact. ZOLO also recycles the materials that cannot be reused, such as metals and plastics, and ensures that they are properly disposed of or repurposed.

Tech Recycling Startup that Aims to Make a Difference in the Philippines

By doing so, ZOLO helps prevent e-waste from polluting the environment and harming human health. E-waste contains hazardous substances such as lead, mercury, cadmium, and brominated flame retardants, which can leach into the soil and water sources, or release toxic fumes when burned. E-waste also contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change when it is not properly managed.

ZOLO also reduces its own carbon footprint by using eco-friendly materials, renewable energy sources, and minimal packaging for its service. The startup claims that it has saved over 10,000 kilograms of carbon dioxide emissions since its launch in Australia.

How does ZOLO ensure data security?

ZOLO ensures data security by using a military-grade data destruction process to wipe out all the data from the tech products that it collects. This process involves overwriting the data multiple times with random patterns, making it impossible to recover or retrieve. ZOLO also provides a certificate of data destruction to its customers as proof of its service.

By doing so, ZOLO protects the privacy and confidentiality of its customers, especially businesses that handle sensitive information such as financial records, customer data, or trade secrets. ZOLO also prevents data breaches, identity theft, fraud, or cyberattacks that could result from improper disposal of old tech products.

ZOLO also complies with local and international data protection laws and regulations, such as the Data Privacy Act of 2012 in the Philippines and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union.

How does ZOLO create social impact and economic development?

ZOLO creates social impact and economic development by donating some of the refurbished tech products to underprivileged communities or organizations that need them. For example, ZOLO has partnered with Canva Philippines to provide laptops to public school teachers who are conducting online classes amid the pandemic. ZOLO has also supported various charities and causes in Australia, such as Lifeline Australia, Beyond Blue, The Smith Family, and The Salvation Army.

By doing so, ZOLO helps bridge the digital divide and promote digital inclusion among those who lack access to technology or internet connectivity. ZOLO also empowers these communities or organizations to improve their education, health, livelihood, or social welfare through technology.

ZOLO also creates economic development by generating employment opportunities for local workers who will operate its tech recycling facility in the Philippines. ZOLO plans to hire around 50 staff members for its facility in Santa Rosa, Laguna. ZOLO also supports local businesses by sourcing some of its materials and services from them.

What are the next steps for ZOLO?

ZOLO is currently preparing for its launch in the Philippines by securing permits and licenses from relevant authorities. The startup is also looking for potential partners or customers who are interested in availing its tech recycling service. ZOLO offers a free pickup service for businesses that have at least 10 tech products to recycle. For households or individuals who have fewer than 10 tech products to recycle, ZOLO charges a nominal fee of P500 per pickup.

ZOLO is also planning to expand its service to other countries in Southeast Asia in the future. The startup believes that there is a huge demand and potential for tech recycling in the region, as more people and businesses adopt digital technologies and generate more e-waste.

ZOLO is a purpose-driven startup that balances profit and purpose. It aims to create a positive impact on the environment, society, and economy through its tech recycling service. ZOLO also hopes to inspire other businesses and individuals to embrace sustainable living practices and reduce their impact on the planet.

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