According to O2, one of the UK's largest wireless companies, there are currently 70 million cell phones in use. This year 30 million more will be purchased. What happens to all the old devices that don't get passed down to friends and famly? Usually they're improperly discarded. In an effort to raise awareness to this problem, artist Sean Miles and O2 Recycle created a project called "The Walkie Talkies" in which old Nokia and LG handsets are combined with shoes to create a piece of art. 

Miles used a vintage Nike running shoe, a Christian Louboutin woman's shoe, a Hunter Welly rainboot, and men's wingtip. The phones used were donated by O2 customers instead of being sent off to a landfill. Speaking on the project, Miles said: 

"I wondered how I could make phones that people might be embarrassed to be seen with into something that would give them a new lease of life – which is what upcycling is all about. 

“I hoped that, by turning them into Walkie Talkies, I would raise a smile and perhaps a laugh and create things that people wanted once again. I’ve been using them while out with friends and they never fail to start a conversation, even when I’m not using them as a phone! I hope that they can get more people talking about the need to recycle old gadgets rather than binning them.”

Valued at nearly $4,000 each, the pieces will be displayed in March at an exhibition where visitors will be able to enter for a chance to win the Walkie Talkies. 

Click through the gallery to see all the shoes. 

[Gizmag via O2]