An extra 2 million mobile phones to be left on scrapheap after Christmas

November 10, 2007 (PRLEAP.COM) Technology News
A new study from Tesco Mobile has found that an extra 2 million mobile phones are expected to go on the scrapheap this Christmas* as Brits lack an understanding on how to recycle electronic waste. Data from the Tesco Mobile survey found that almost 11 million people expect to get a new mobile phone over Christmas and that 20% of Brits just throw away old mobile handsets, even if they still work.

The survey also found that two thirds of Brits have no idea of how to recycle their gadgets with under 25s being the worst offenders - 36% of this age group admit to not knowing where their nearest recycling plant is situated.

Andy Dewhurst, chief executive officer of Tesco Mobile comments “These results are very worrying. We’ve decided to take positive steps in response to these findings and have recently launched an online mobile recycling service – and re-launched our recycling envelopes in stores with the aim of recycling 1 million mobile phones in the next year alone, helping to reduce the number of handsets that go on the scrap heap and making it even easier for our customers to recycle easily.”

“As a nation, we’re becoming greater consumers of electronic goods and with constant technological advances we’re upgrading them more frequently too - these goods have almost become disposable.”

The concept of Tesco Mobile Recycle is simple - recycle any working mobile phone online and earn recycling rewards of up to £70 of Tesco Mobile airtime or Tesco gift vouchers. Plus, users can get 300 Green Clubcard Points, or donate £3 to the British Red Cross.

Because green issues are important to Tesco Telecoms, they’ve made the mobile recycling process very easy – and free. Users just need to visit the new Tesco Mobile Recycle website, select their chosen handset to see what rewards they can get for recycling and input their details to receive a postage paid envelope. Once they have this they can simply pop their phone in and post it back. When Tesco Mobile have received and checked the mobile phones, customers receive their recycling rewards.

Other popular Christmas gift gadgets including computers, printers and video game consoles, top the list of electronic goods that are disposed of rather than recycled – over a quarter of all Brits admit to binning rather than recycling them.

Other key findings from the research revealed:
* 60% of people agree that there is not enough incentive to recycle household items which they no longer use
* Shockingly just 7% say that they read manufacturers instructions on how to correctly dispose of an electrical or electronic item
* Only 18% of people currently recycle their mobile phones. The most popular “disposal” method for an old or unused mobile phone is for it to be left lying somewhere in the owners house or thrown in the bin
* 20% of adults, around 10 million people, still have no idea where their local recycling point is and don’t make any effort to recycle household waste, while 58% believe it is the responsibility of the individual rather than the government to recycle

About Tesco Mobile:

Tesco Mobile is the easy way to talk and text for less because of simple to understand pay as you go mobile tariffs. With three low rate tariffs on all of the leading handsets, Tesco Mobile have recently been commended by a Which? Report announcing that Tesco Mobile offers the best service out of all the mobile networks.

For further information please contact the Tesco Telecoms Press Office:
Sian Evans
T: 02076846938
Notes to editors:
* Data from the study from Tesco Mobile Recycle found that 20% of Brits expect to get a new mobile phone over Christmas, 20% also admit to throwing old mobile phones in the bin. With just over 50 million mobile phones owned in the UK (Source: World Wireless Forum 2006), just over 2m phones are expected to be thrown away this after this Christmas.
- Survey conducted amongst 1,000 UK adults by Fly Research on behalf of Tesco Mobile Recycle in October 2007
- Further information on the Tesco Mobile Recycling Programme can be found at