Media release, 12 Oct 2022
Financial uncertainty surrounds many of us. Recycle Your Electricals is highlighting the hidden value in some households’s unused electricals in advance of International e-waste Day (14th October).
20.7 million unused but working tech electricals, worth a possible £5.63 billion, are currently hoarded in UK homes, and the average UK household could sell unwanted tech and raise an average of £200 to help them with their cost of living crisis. The new research, commissioned by REPIC, has identified how many small working electricals are being hoarded.
This is in advance of the International E-waste Day campaign’s message that “we should recycle it all, no matter how small”. E-waste is the fastest growing waste stream in the world and the UK, and according to Recycle Your Electricals research 155,000 tonnes of waste electricals are thrown away in the UK alone each year. REPIC’s research also identified that 18.6 million broken tech items are currently being hoarded in UK homes, including laptops, tablets, computers, and games consoles that could be recycled.
The research also found that the following items could be sold or recycled by UK householders:
Re-sale value of hoarded tech items:
Scott Butler, Executive Director of Material Focus said: “This new research has shown again what we know. There is a huge amount of value in a household’s unwanted electricals, whether sold so that they can be reused, donated to help those in need, or recycled so that the valuable materials inside our devices can be recovered and made into something new. Electricals and tech are valuable, and this value will be lost forever if they are thrown away. Anything with a plug, battery or cable should always be recycled as a minimum.”
Louise Grantham, Chief Executive at REPIC Ltd said : “We’re keen to make consumers aware that the real value is keeping small electricals in circulation for longer – either through passing them on, selling them and / or recycling them at the end of their useful life. Decluttering enables precious material to be recovered and reused in the manufacturing of new products and collectively makes a big difference to our environment by reducing the demand for new raw materials.”
Personal finance top tips
Recycle your Elecricals Top tips on selling your electricals
For more information on how to sell or recycle your electricals visit www.recycleyourelectricals.org.uk Anything with a plug, battery or cable can be recycled.
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The research was commissioned by REPIC and conducted by Mustard. 3,001 householders were surveyed, aged 18+ and research was run from 7th July to 29th July 2022. Results were sent to a nationally representative sample and are also weighted to nationally representative figures of age, gender and region (taken from the ONS) to further ensure a nationally representative makeup.The survey was designed using the UNITAR WEEE flows tool kit to establish information on hoarding and lifespan of products.
About Material Focus and the Recycle Your Electricals campaign
Material Focus is a not-for-profit organisation whose goal is to stop the nation throwing away or hoarding all their old small electricals. Material Focus is delivering the UK-wide Recycle Your Electricals campaign. The campaign is revealing the value hidden in electricals and is making it easier for us all to recycle and reuse the small electricals we no longer need by providing more recycling points as well as providing practical information on how households can recycle.
The campaign is funded by producers of electrical appliances. The UK government sets annual targets for the recycling of all waste electricals, including small electricals. If producers of electrical appliances don’t meet this target, then they contribute towards a fund (WEEE Fund) which pays for a range of activities, including communications, behaviour change activities, increased recycling projects and research. Ultimately the aim is to support actions that will help the UK increase the levels of reuse and recycling of waste electricals.
REPIC is a not-for-profit producer compliance scheme established in January 2004 by leading companies in the electrical and electronics industry – to meet their obligations under producer responsibility legislation, including batteries, packaging and WEEE, and to assist in wider environmental compliance. REPIC has recycled over 3 million tonnes of electricals since the WEEE Regulations began in the UK.
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