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O2 UK Hails Recycling Effort – 3 Million Handsets Saved from Landfill

Monday, October 28th, 2019 (11:47 am) - Score 1,127
o2 uk logo white background telefonica

Mobile operator O2 has today congratulated themselves after their recycling scheme (O2 Recycle), which enables consumers from any network to sell their old phone in order for it to be reused by others, took in 3 million phones over the past 10 years (saving 450 tonnes of mobile phone waste from landfill).

The operator claims to have paid out a total of £226m to 2.7 million customers recycling their old devices since the scheme began (over the last couple of years this value has been averaging £500,000 each week). Meanwhile Apple iPhones’ make up 70% of all devices sent into the scheme, with new iPhone launches tending to cause a predictable surge for device trade-ins.

Typically 95% of devices received are in good condition and are resold back into market. A high proportion of sales now take place within the UK, reducing carbon emissions from transport. Meanwhile other consumers will probably find that they can often get more money for their kit by using eBay, provided they have the patience for it.

Nicola Green, O2’s Director of Corporate Affairs, said:

“As a responsible business, we recognise the importance of doing the right thing for our customers and for the planet. We’re extremely proud that, over the last ten years, our pioneering O2 Recycle scheme has saved 450 tonnes of waste from landfill – that’s the equivalent of thirty-five London buses, as well as paying over £225 million back to environmentally conscious customers.”

Earlier this year O2 also boasted that it had achieved recertification to the Carbon Trust Standard for Supply Chain at level 3, the highest possible level. The standard is the world’s first independent certification for recognising organisations that are measuring, managing and reducing greenhouse gas emissions within their supply chains.

The operator was also the first mobile company in the world to achieve the Carbon Trust Triple Standard for carbon, water and waste, and to introduce an Eco rating for new phones – working with manufacturers to assess handset sustainability credentials, providing an overall rating to help customers make an informed decision.

Finally, the company is taking action to eliminate single-use plastics from O2-branded accessories by the end of the year. Additionally, in the last year O2 sold over 250,000 phones without chargers, reducing the pile-up of additional unwanted chargers and electronic waste, albeit while confusing some consumers who expect such things when they buy a new device.

Leave a Comment
5 Responses
  1. Avatar Toby Adams says:

    Fair play to them, I had an old iPhone 6 in a drawer with a busted battery and they made it so easy to send it to them and I think I got about £70 for it.

    Very happy and hassle free, even better with this carbon eco stuff

  2. Avatar dragoneast says:

    Can I award myself a public congratulation for “saving” two old phones from landfill by unlocking and upgrading their firmware to the latest and using them as spares at home? No marketing, packaging or transport costs involved. Just a bit of brainpower. Quite good exercise for an underused part of the anatomy, apparently.

  3. Avatar Mike says:

    I wonder how many O2 customers recycle their phone thinking it’s broken when it’s actually just poor O2 service…

  4. Avatar Daniel liggins says:

    Look up o2 community they have a bit of a bad rep on there lol

  5. Avatar richie says:

    Give me an award for selling all my old phones (going back 20 years or more) to offset the cost of new ones, except for the ones I gave away free to my family. Do people really leave expensive electronics sitting around gathering dust instead of selling them? How many have ancient TVs cluttering up the living room, or a dozen old cars on the driveway?

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