Start of UK trade-in scheme for mobile phones and tablets
cc Flickr / Matthijs
The UK retailer Argos is partnering with charity WRAP to roll-out a new gadget trade-in service across its 788 stores.
The service is now avaialble and offers an immediate quote and redemption for unwanted mobile phones and tablet devices.
In turn for trading in their gadgets, customers will receive an Argos gift card to spend on anything in the Argos range. In the meantime, returned items will be remanufactured and re-sold.
A growing pile of electrical and electronic waste
The year 2014 is estimated to have set a record for the amount of electrical and electronic waste that was discarded around the world.
A UN report said that 41.8m tonnes of so-called e-waste – mostly fridges, washing machines and other domestic appliances at the end of their life – had been dumped, which is the equivalent of 1.15m heavy trucks, forming a line that is 23,000km (14,300 miles) long.
Depending on the response from customers, Argos said it may extend its scheme to include other electrical items in the future, such as cameras, sat-navs or laptops.
The new service is the result of WRAP’s REBus project, funded by EU Life+, which helps companies implement commercially attractive and resource efficient business models that keep products and their materials in use for longer.
WRAP research estimates UK householders have around £1bn worth of electrical and electronic equipment in their homes that is no longer used, and two-thirds of those surveyed said they would be willing to trade in their tech products with reputable retailers.
This is the sort of service that needs to be rolled out within a circular economy so that the materials and components of products can be re-used, re-manufactured, repaired or recycled.
You can find out more about the scheme in the video below.