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Virgin Media O2 UK Offers to Recycle Old iPhone Cables

Wednesday, Sep 13th, 2023 (12:19 pm) - Score 2,416

Mobile operator O2 (VMO2) has today announced that, following last night’s launch of the new Apple iPhone 15 – all featuring USB-C instead of Lightning ports, they’re now offering everyone the option to recycle their old lightning cables (or other charging cables) at O2 stores nationwide, where they will be sustainably disposed of.

According to VMO2’s own research, some 48% of Brits are holding onto cables and wires after they don’t need them, with people hoarding on average 4 cables per household. The announcement doesn’t say any more than that.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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12 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Chris says:

    Total waste, we all know where these ‘reycling’ go. if you have functional lighting cables just buy some adaptor to USB-C (even for charging). I did the same when I went from micro-USB to USB-C.

    1. Avatar photo Andrew says:

      It never went from Micro-USB, they went from USB-A to USB-C, the point is valid though

      Everyone has USB-C cables these days, It’s a good change that Apple were forced into

    2. Avatar photo David says:

      I’m fairly sure Chris means when devices began moving away from USB micro B to USB C on the device side, not the charger. The other end could have been USB type A or C.

  2. Avatar photo Anthony says:

    This makes no sense. They had the lightening cables to charge their current phones that need them. If they sell their phones to somewhere like CEX. They knock money of your trade in price if you don’t include the charging cable. So they will just put it in when they trade in the phone. Thus again this scheme is worthless

    1. Avatar photo tech3475 says:

      You can own more cables than you own devices.

  3. Avatar photo James says:

    The iPhone should of had USB C since the IPhone 7 back In 2016.

    1. Avatar photo Ad47uk says:

      I don’t see the difference, if it does the job. This idea, the E.U has that it will save users money and waste is complete and utter tosh, just like the E.U. It is all about the E.U trying to look like they have power. Oh look we can make companies do this.

      I am shocked they have not reduce the wattage for kettles yet, which was talked about a few years ago.

      at the end of the day, a socket is a socket, if it does what it is supposed to do. I still have stuff that uses Micro and mini USB. My camera use mini USB and since the model is still on sale it still use mini USB. I take the SD card out and stick it into my computer to get the contents.
      A lot of external hard drives still don’t USB-C.

      I know, well, there are not as many cameras and external hard drives sold as Iphones.

      Maybe the E.U should concentrate on important stuff.

      No, I don’t have a iPhone, I have a cheap Oppo phone.

    2. Avatar photo tech3475 says:


      As someone who regularly deals with both Android and iOS devices, I can say that had Apple switched years ago it would have saved me money medium-long term and also have been more convenient.

      Apple also has DRM on lightning cables, if Apple doesn’t do this with USB-C, then this may also reduce the price of replacement cables. I’ve tried looking around but only found old speculative articles.

  4. Avatar photo Obi says:

    What would be even better would be AirPods case trade in. Would happily pay a fee just for that.

  5. Avatar photo anon says:

    Clever way to get people into O2 stores.

  6. Avatar photo Si says:

    Isn’t this a part of their WEEE obligations anyway? Like how any electronics retailer must any electronics recycling whether purchased there or not?

  7. Avatar photo MilesT says:

    It would be great if there was a common, charitable recycling scheme for chargers and cables for phones, tablets and laptops, and other equipment that uses external “power bricks” and “wall warts”, as well as removable power cables that use one of the standard “IEC” connectors (kettle plugs, figure 8’s and cloverleafs as commonly known), with EU, UK, USA, Australia, and South Africa/India (filter out the unfused Hong Kong plugs that are unsafe to use in the UK in most applications but are too often sold on websites as “UK Compatible”)

    Focusing more on “reuse” than “recycle”, quick safety and functionality test (with necessary specialist equipment), chean and repackage, then offer for resale with a lifetime guarantee, return by post in original packaging to get a refurbished replacement by post.

Comments are closed

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