Compare and Recycle
10/01/2024

Over The Past 10 Years, Brits Wasted £17.5 Billion When Upgrading Phones!

Man holding empty wallet showing he has no money

Whether it be the release of the latest iPhone or during seasonal sales that tempts you to buy a new phone, many of us rush to seek the latest tech gadgets despite not having a reason to replace the one we already own. But, what’s the aftermath of this and how many of our old mobile phones get left behind despite having quite a bit of life left in them still? Compare and Recycle, in collaboration with YouGov, conducted a recent survey revealing that a staggering £17.5 billion was lost by Brits over the past decade when upgrading their mobile phones. So, is the UK really a nation of “Tech Squirrelers” and guilty of holding onto their old phones? We think that it’s time to stop missing out on potential savings and start to become a little more tech savvy!

Are You A Tech Squirreler?

Did you know that over 26.8 million people in the UK fall into the Tech Squirreler category? And by Tech Squirreler we mean someone who hoards their old phones rather than trades them in to earn some extra cash. Silly right? In this day and age, with all the information and resources available, there’s really no excuse for us not to trade in our old mobile phones responsibly.

According to a recent study conducted by Compare and Recycle in collaboration with YouGov, 60% of Brits have upgraded their mobile phones at least three times in the past 10 years. Yet, a mere 22% of respondents opt for trade-in services, while a whopping 40% choose to stow away their old devices, contributing to the mounting electronic waste in UK households.

Compare and Recycle Survey Conducted By YouGov

The question is, why are so many people missing out on easy money whilst also helping the environment? There are many reasons as to why this may be a missed opportunity, with one of them being a lack of education and awareness surrounding tech recycling as well as misinformation regarding privacy. It doesn’t have to be a complicated task and we hope that for most people it is second nature to trade their old mobile phone when purchasing a new one. At Compare and Recycle, we help you with every step of the process, from finding you the best price you can get and guiding through data wiping.

Learn more about trading your phone with Compare and Recycle here.

Not Trading In Your Phone Affects Your Wallet

There are various ways in which we can make an impact when it comes to the future of your old mobile phones. One option is by ensuring we correctly recycle our mobile phones, whether that be through trade in services like Compare and Recycle or taking it to a local recycling centre. The good news is that the majority of people, 31%, prefer handing their phones down to friends and family, a commendable practice that ensures mobile devices continue to serve a purpose rather than contributing to e-waste. On the other hand, only a fraction of respondents, 22%, reported using trade-in services provided by network providers or online platforms which is a disappointing figure that we hoped would be higher. Of course, because of this there will be a financial impact, a whopping £17.5 billion impact… This is the frightening figure that exposes just how much money has been lost over the past decade. By turning to trade-in services, individuals not only unlock substantial financial benefits but also play a crucial role in mitigating the environmental impact of e-waste.

How Has Consumer Spending Shifted

With the cost of living crisis constantly looming over our heads, there isn’t a better time for consumers to look into whether they can earn money from their old mobile phones and tech gadgets that may be lying around at home. Our study highlights a shift in consumer sentiment toward mobile phone spending suggesting that there should be an urgency for individuals to become more aware of the rising pricing within the mobile phone industry, especially in a time of economic uncertainty.

The survey found that 28% of respondents anticipate spending more on their next mobile phone.

Compare and Recycle Survey Conducted By YouGov

The Takeaway

It’s hard to ignore these eye-opening findings, especially when £17.5 billion has been lost over the past decade. It’s a sign that consumers need to break free from their Tech Squirreling habits! These figures highlight why it is important for us to rethink our disposal practices when it comes to mobile phones. Our rule of thumb is to sell your phone as soon as you’ve upgraded as once it gets to the drawer it will be forgotten and literally wasting your money away. There are so many benefits of understanding the potential of trading in your mobile phone, not only can you make an impact on the environment but for your wallet also. We understand that in this digital age, it’s tempting to try and stay up to date with the latest tech, but at what cost? Most of us will naturally upgrade our phones contract after contract without thinking about how it contributes to a not so sustainable future…

Yasmin

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