Globally, around 40 million tonnes of e-waste is improperly disposed of every year, and much of it is sent to developing countries where it ends up in landfill, is illegally traded or burned for raw materials. Current climate anxiety and damage caused by human actions are reaching alarming rates, so we decided to dig into the Compare and Recycle data for some good news to share and encourage the UK to be more mindful with their technology.
We have analysed 40,000 recent anonymised transactions to discover what areas across the UK are recycling their unwanted mobile phones, tablets, smartwatches and digital cameras the most, and we found some fascinating results.
Dunfermline in Scotland tops our list as the most gadget-conscious town in the UK, with residents in the Rosyth area trading in the most mobile phones. Our research has revealed that in England, Bristol is the most environmentally responsible with their gadgets.
Bristol and Dunfermline are not alone in their efforts however. Here are the UK's top areas known for their sustainable approach to small electronics:
As consumers, we are increasingly aware of the strain we are putting on the natural world through unnecessary consumption rather than recycling and reusing. Packed with precious components, when not properly disposed of, our smartphones and digital devices can contaminate the environment. Toxins released are polluting the air and water and can be lethal for people, plant life and animals living nearby.
While the majority of mobile phone manufacturers continue to avoid taking the necessary steps to make smartphones more sustainable and design new devices using recycled materials, it is great to see so many people from across the UK giving a second life to their devices and implementing sustainable practices into their daily lives. By trading in unwanted devices, we do our bit to protect the environment as valuable materials are kept in circulation and we are also able to recover some value. These traded-in devices come back on to the market as refurbished to quality standards smartphones. Instead of buying a brand-new one and choosing a refurbished phone, we can extend the lifetime of a device, reducing its environmental impact while paying less for a high-quality handset.
We're inspired by people initiating the change and using Compare and Recycle to break the e-waste cycle. Over the past 5 years, we have managed to prevent almost a million mobile phones from being wasted away. Well done UK, keep up the good work and next year we expect to see more towns doing good for the planet!