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Rugby fans might want to consider O2’s new grass-backed phone

The grass is always greener on the other side, unless the other side has a screen, in which case you’re probably looking at O2’s new eye-catching smartphone, which features a back made from recycled grass clippings straight off the pitch at Twickenham Stadium.

Whether you consider this an eco-friendly smartphone or simply a tech-heavy piece of rugby memorabilia, it’s a study in introducing materials from nature into the world of mobile telephony, similarly to what we saw from Motorola’s bamboo-backed Moto X.

The ‘Lawn Phone’ or ‘Grass Phone’ as it’s been dubbed by some (original, we know) emerged out of a collaboration between O2 Recycle and designer Sean Miles. The back plate itself was created by freeze-drying grass cut from Twickenham Stadium only two hours earlier. The grass then underwent a pulping process to fit the mold destined for the phone’s back and was then coated in an eco-friendly resin, recycled from waste materials. The wooden hardware buttons were also sourced locally and the rest of the phone’s components were salvaged from other recycles devices.

All in the all the Grass Phone took around 240 hours to complete and was commissioned as part of the RFU’s ‘Try for Change’ programme, which in this instance wanted to inspire people to upcycle their old technology in order to create something new and innovative.

Bill Eyres, Head of Sustainability at O2 said, “By creating this phone we are demonstrating how two of O2’s passion points – rugby and O2 Recycle – can come together, as a force for good.”
Off the back of the occasion, Eyres has outlined plans to raise £350,000 through O2 Recycle to support Try for Change.

Right now the device is a one-off prototype with no plans to roll out grass-pulped, resin-backed phones to unsuspecting O2 customers, but in a market where every smartphone wants to stand out, we wouldn’t object to being seen using this thing.


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