What is the Retailer Take-back scheme for electricals?

Buying a new electrical item from the high street? Shops will now recycle the one you’re replacing – for free.

retailers take back old electricals like for like retailers take back old electricals like for like

The Retailer Take-back scheme at a glance

With over 10,000 new drop-off points to recycle your electricals

family buying toaster in store

Free in-store recycling

If you’re buying a new toaster, kettle – or any new electrical item – you can now recycle your old one at the same store.

child on swing

Old for new

Anything with a plug, battery or cable can be turned back into something useful – from playgrounds to life-saving equipment, even a new kettle.

electrical retailers take back old electricals when you buy new

Skip the trip to the tip

Thousands of retailers are offering the service – so remember to take your old electrical when you go shopping for something new.

tvs can be repaired and recycled

When did this happen?

It all kicked in on 1 January 2021 with the Retailer Take-back scheme, which applies across the UK. Ready to recycle?

How to swap old electricals for new

It’s as easy as ABC

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Are you planning to buy something with a plug, battery or cable? And do you have an old one to get rid of? If the answer to both questions is yes, go to B.

illustration of bag to collect old electrcials for recycling


Find a bag and put your old electrical item in it. If it’s a big item, you might need a big bag. Or a box. Just make sure you can carry it. Then leave it at the door ready to take with you to the shops.

Laptop with recycling locator icon


Before you go, check you’ve removed batteries, SIM and memory cards. Check you have deleted your personal data from any laptops, phones or other smart gadgets.

Find your nearest recycling point
printer with paper

Retailer Take-back scheme – the fine print (don’t worry, there isn’t much)

  • Any large shop that sells electricals will take your old item if you buy new from them. 
  • You have 28 days after buying something new to take your old one in for recycling – and it doesn’t need to have come from the same shop.
  • Some big stores will accept old electronics from you whether you’re buying from them or not. Yay for Currys PC World and B&Q, and John Lewis
  • Participating stores will make sure the precious materials in your dear old vacuum cleaner/toaster/torch are recycled and disposed of properly to be reborn as useful new products. 

For more detail check out the FAQs below, and our page on retailers and appliance recycling.

Find your nearest recycling and reuse point

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