Every year, hundreds of millions of new cell phones come into the world — and now, thanks to a deal brokered by the United Nations Environment Programme, when they leave the world, they may do so in a relatively eco-friendly fashion. Yesterday, the giants of the electronics industry (including market leaders Nokia, Motorola, Philips, and Samsung) promised to work with UNEP to pilot programs ensuring that the plastics, metals, and nickel-cadmium batteries from cell phones are disposed of safely in the future. The agreement does not establish any firm targets or timetables, but manufacturers affirmed that they would work with developing countries (which often bear the burden of disposing of e-waste) to craft effective end-of-life programs for the phones, such as those already exist in Australia and parts of Europe and the U.S. UNEP Executive Director Klaus Toepfer hailed the development as “groundbreaking” and said it would help pave the way for an economy in which, “We will have more and more producer responsibility for their products from the very beginning to the end.”