New data made available by Currys has revealed that the retailer has collected almost 750,000 tonnes of unwanted technology since 2011, the equivalent of almost 10 million washing machines, recycling over 15 million individual products in the process.
In the past year, Currys collected almost 60,000 tonnes of redundant technology across the UK and Ireland. This resulted in 1.3 million individual units, which were either bound for landfill or a life of collecting dust in cupboard drawers, being proactively recycled.
Key to these figures is the brand’s popular ‘Cash for Trash’ initiative which guarantees customers at least £5 store credit when they drop-off any unwanted tech.
Furthermore, the ‘Cash for Trash’ programme is returning across the UK&I, and for the first time customers will soon be able to receive ‘Cash for Trash’ vouchers at home, exchanged when Currys delivers a new appliance and recycles any redundant products.
This move is part of Currys’ commitment to giving technology a longer life and playing a leading role in the fight against e-waste in the UK&I.
When customers recycle their tech through Currys, the items are either broken down and recycled, harvested for parts (which contribute to the repairs of other items), or given to charities which will match functioning products with recipients who do not have access to their own essential items, such as fridges and freezers.
Whilst thousands of customers are recycling their low-value tech products, many are also trading-in more expensive items through Currys. In the past twelve months, the tech retailer has processed almost 80,000 trade-ins, paying out £10.5 million to customers for items that could be refurbished and resold, all of which helps keep tech in use and out of landfill.
The retailer said there is still work to do when it comes to helping the public recycle all their unwanted tech. New research undertaken by Currys found that over 50% of UK shoppers bin their redundant tech products when they buy upgraded devices, despite 41% of us actively looking to be more environmentally minded in 2023.
Chris Brown, senior sustainability operations manager at Currys, commented: “We are seeing great results from both our recycling and trade-in initiatives, with customers bringing in their unwanted tech in great numbers. Whether it a be a high-value item, such as a mobile phone or tablet, or unwanted ‘tech tat’, recycling or trading-in tech with Currys is a convenient, financially incentivised way for the public to cut down on their e-waste.
“That said, despite great progress, the e-waste problem isn’t going to go away overnight. Which is why we’re bringing back our popular Cash for Trash initiative and calling on Brits to step up their tech recycling efforts in 2023, for the benefit of planet and pockets alike.”