Media release, 11 November 2020.
Teaming up with broadcaster Kate Thornton and personal finance expert Paul Lewis, the initiative also highlights the little-known fact that many working unwanted electricals can be donated to charity, once lockdown is lifted, to help improve the lives of others.
The campaign also revealed that:
Shining a light on what to do with our old electricals during this economically and socially challenging time, Paul and Kate appear together in a video sharing tips and information on how to sell, donate or recycle our old electricals. Paul also issues general advice to help us recession-proof our finances.
Paul Lewis’s tips include:
In addition to the tens of millions of old laptops, there is also a mountain of hairdryers, straighteners, speakers, small kitchen appliances and games consoles in the UK, and enough old cables to circle the Earth five times. Like Paul and Kate, you too can do something useful with your hoarded electrical items. Take time to declutter them, then go through and divide them into three piles; sell, donate, and recycle. Pop the donate and recycled pieces into a bag, ready for when lockdown has lifted and local recycling and donation facilities have re-opened.
Once you’ve done this, go to the Recycle Your Electricals recycling locator. Simply pop in your postcode and you’ll find your nearest recycling points and links to charities who will gratefully accept your unwanted electrical donations.
Sell. On average the nation has one unused laptop and one unused tablet per household. The average price that could be achieved selling the laptop is £165 and the tablet could fetch an average price of £110. Mobile phones can command an average of £110 and games consoles £125. Search online for a peer-to-peer selling site that is best for you; these include eBay and Gumtree, but also the neighbourhood social networking site Nextdoor.
Donate. Perhaps you are lucky enough to escape the recession relatively unscathed. If so, now is a perfect time to help someone else who is finding it more challenging. Many families are crying out for tech. With so many working from home for the first time, school homework going online, and vulnerable, older people having to use tech in their day-to-day lives, possibly for the first time, it’s more essential than ever to keep in touch with loved ones. And it’s not just smart devices: an old washing machine or fridge freezer could save someone £150, and a donated device such as an iPad could save around £100, making all the difference to someone’s life. A range of charities can help – visit recycle your electricals for more information.
Recycle. We should never put old electricals into our general rubbish, they will end up in landfill or incinerated, and the precious, finite metals stored in them will have to be found elsewhere at a huge cost to the environment. If all the old laptops hoarded across the UK were recycled, they could provide enough aluminium to produce 159,000 bikes; enough steel to make 12,000 playground swings; or enough plastic to make nearly 5 million life-saving defibrillators. Recycling all the small, old electricals hoarded in homes or thrown away each year would save 2.8 million tonnes of CO2 emissions, the equivalent of taking 1.3 million cars off the road.
Kate Thornton said: “It’s been truly eye-opening to be part of the Recycle Your Electricals ‘Cash in Your Electricals’ campaign alongside Paul Lewis. I’ve always been environmentally conscious and cautious with money, but in the future, and in the coming months especially I will follow the ‘sell, donate, recycle’ rule when tackling old, hoarded electricals. I had a lot more of them in my home than I thought, and I am determined to do something useful with them from now on.”
Paul Lewis added: “Whether you have struggled financially in recent months or you have been OK, there are positive steps all of us can take to help ourselves or each other financially through coronavirus times. Look closely, and there really is treasure in our trash that can be sold, donated to someone who needs it, or recycled to ease the strain on the environment. The Recycle Your Electricals ‘Cash in Your Electricals’ campaign and the ‘sell, donate, recycle’ rule for old or unwanted electricals is something I’m following. You should too.”
Scott Butler, Executive Director of Material Focus, said: “Our research has shown that there is a huge amount of value in unwanted electricals – whether you sell them so that they can be reused, donated so that someone else in need can benefit, or recycled so that the valuable materials inside our devices or appliances can be made into new items. These items are valuable and will be lost forever if they are thrown away – anything with a plug, battery or cable can be easily recycled.”
For further press information please contact East of Eden:
About the Recycle Your Electricals campaign
Recycle Your Electricals has a goal to stop the nation throwing away or hoarding all their old small electricals. 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. The campaign is doing this by providing more recycling points as well as providing practical information on how households can recycle.
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