Annual review

Highlights and impacts from over the last 12 months

Graphic split into three - top half in red with a dustbin graphic reads: 1.45 million tonnes of electrical waste is produced by UK households and businesses. Bottom left in green with RYE logo reads: 915,000 tonnes of electricals are sent for reuse and recycling. Bottom right in purple with magnifying glass graphic reads: 500,000 tonnes of waste electricals are lost through being thrown away, hoarded, stolen, or illegally exported

What’s the issue?

Discarded electricals are one of the fastest growing sources of waste in the UK and in the world.

Most people in the UK think that recycling is the right thing to do, but it’s still too hard to do – less than half of us think it’s easy to get rid of unwanted electricals.

Recent research and industry briefings

We continue to fund a range of technical research, and created industry briefings to improve reuse and recycling.

One person handing a laptop over to another, only arms visible with a desktop in the foreground.

Retailer takeback: an industry briefing for retailers

All electrical retailers are legally obliged to help customers recycle their electricals. Material Focus outline the legal obligations simply and explain what retailers need to do to comply with them.

Find out more
Zoomed in on a device used for weighing heavy items in a warehouse with large doors open in the background.

Improving measurement: an introduction to new metrics

Material Focus’ new research has identified a range of metrics that could improve the way the UK measures and assesses the efficiency of its waste electricals and portable batteries systems.

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Close up of colourful vapes scattered on a bright green background.

Vapes recycling: An industry briefing for retailers and producers

Vape e-waste has become a hugely talked about issue over the past few months. Material Focus explain how vapes are adding to the e-waste problem, and how vape producers and sellers can comply with their legal environmental obligations.

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Wide shot of an industrial kitchen, clean and empty.

Opportunities and challenges: Business electrical waste

A deep dive into the UK’s business electrical waste showed over 200,000 tonnes being throw away annually in the UK. And highlighted the need for more work in this area.

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Graphic of a map of the UK showing pink pin points of where Material Focus is working

We’re making it easier

12 million UK residents

are benefitting from our investment in 60 projects. This will provide a variety of recycling drop-off points from kerbside to schools, community centres and and on-street bring banks.

Working in partnership with other organisations is ket to achieving our mission. To date we’ve worked with over 200 partners.

Building public awareness and confidence

One in three people across the UK say they’re not confident on what to do with their unwanted electricals. We’re changing that with our award winning campaigns. Over 3 million people say they have started recycling their electricals in the last two years.

X-ray image of a USB-C cable labelling the components. Text: Hard Casing - ABS Plastic; Wire - copper; Connectors - gold plated copper; Wire casing - nylon.

Fast Tech

An astonishing 471 million pieces of FastTech end up in UK landfill each year. They’re part of over 100,000 tonnes of e-waste we throw away annually, and we still have a staggering 880 million gadgets gathering dust at home.


Firemen putting out a large blazing fire caused by batteries.

Never bin hidden batteries campaign

Our ‘Never bin hidden batteries’ campaign, saw great engagement levels, with over 70 local authorities involved in some capacity. From sharing our social media assets both internally and externally across their channels, getting involved in our battery fire research to personalised advertising campaigns across the UK. 

‘HypnoCat’ (a magenta-coloured Persian cat with blue spiral eyes) leaning on a blue dustbin and electrical items floating in a blue spiral background.


HypnoCat recently made his debut on TV bopping along to a hypnotic catchy trance beat with mesmerising lyrics that you won’t be able to get out of your head.