Recycling reluctance costs Brits up to £762m each year

The British public is losing out on an estimated £762m each year by failing to recycle their old gadgets such as mobile phones, MP3 players and digital cameras, according to new research from O2.

With more than 17.5m of these items thrown out each year, the study highlighted the potential money making opportunities available to consumers. Despite the possibility of earning an estimated £85 for each of gadget recycled, just 16% consumers do so.

Instead, the findings revealed that half of people are missing out by binning them, giving them away or taking them to the tip. While more than a third (37%) aren't aware that recycling services exist, over a quarter (27%) think that recycling is not worth it.

Almost one in ten (11%) can't be bothered and just 5% realised they could make between £51 and £100 from recycling thrown out gadgets. British appetite for the latest technology is highlighted by the fact that 58% replace their phones for a newer, more up-to-date version less than once every two years.

This month O2 Recycle will attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the most mobile phones recycled in one week. The recycleathon will start on October 7.

Maxine Perella




Waste & resource management
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