A new recycle scheme developed by Virgin Media 02 has saved 250,000 from landfill in the last year alone.
Last year, Virgin Media O2 recycled, resold, and repaired 2.4 million devices – including handsets and customer equipment such as routers and set-top boxes. Since its launch the programme has paid out more than £320 million, and sustainably recycled 3.8 million devices. The figures were announced by Virgin Media O2 to mark World Recycling Day.
The scheme encourages customers – regardless of their network – to trade in unwanted smartphones, tablets, and accessories in exchange for a cash gift. 92% of the devices were then data wiped, refurbished, and resold as ‘like new’ products to customers. The remainder were then broken down for raw materials.
“With more than 3.8 million devices sustainably recycled since 2009, O2 Recycle is playing a leading role in tackling e-waste across the UK, explained Dana Haidan, Chief Sustainability Officer, Virgin Media O2. “It’s a key part of our sustainability strategy, the Better Connections Plan where we’re helping people to live greener lives, and supporting the circular economy so devices can be used again and again.”
The UK currently produces more electrical waste per person than any other country in the world (after Norway) and, according to Virgin Media O2 research there are more than 17.5 million unused phones and tablets hidden away in UK homes.