New research commissioned by giffgaff suggests unused and recyclable mobile phones across the UK could be worth an estimated £3.4 billion.
The research suggests that almost half (45%) of the UK – nearly 30 million people – keep old and working mobile phones, despite using a brand new model day-to-day.
Over two thirds (67%) haven’t used their old handset in the past year and 1 in 5 (19%) say they’ve used their previous device just once.
Whilst the reasons for holding onto old devices are varied – ranging from people wanting an emergency backup device (32%) to fears over losing personal data (22%) and even some citing emotional attachment (12%) – individuals could be sitting on some unclaimed cash(3) as the average giffgaff trade-in value of a recyclable used handset is £111.
Eith the cost of living rising across the board, now is a great time to get something back by trading in your old phone. Good for your wallet, and for the planet too
Not recycling an old mobile phone contributes to the growing problem of e-waste, giffgaf says.
The World Economic Forum estimates that just 20% of global e-waste is recycled, while the other 80% ends up in landfill or incinerated.
giffgaff’s ongoing call to the nation aims to tackle the issue by helping people to either trade-in, recycle or gift their old handsets.
Behaviours are already changing, it says, with giffgaff seeing double digit year-on-year growth in refurbished phone sales in the past two years, while its members have helped to save 19 million kg of CO2e (the equivalent of around 24,000 flights from London to New York City) by opting for refurbished phones.
Ash Schofield, CEO at giffgaff, said: “Our latest research highlights that there’s a significant opportunity for people with an old mobile phone to make a tangible, sustainable impact, and gain some extra cash.
“And with the cost of living rising across the board, now is a great time to get something back by trading in your old phone. Good for your wallet, and for the planet too.”