O2 pays out more than £250 million for old tech as a reward for fighting e-waste with O2 Recycle

  • Since 2009, O2 has paid out more than £250 million through O2 Recycle, giving tech users a cash back boost for handing in their old e-waste for recycling or refurbishment
  • In the last year, O2 with recycling partner Ingram Micro, has recycled more than 128,000 phones, tablets and smart watches – an estimated 21 tonnes of tech waste, with zero going to landfill
  • In the past year alone O2 Recycle has paid out more than £18 million for old tech. More than 20,000 recycled devices have also been repurposed for O2’s Like New scheme, giving devices a new lease of life

As part of its ongoing work to help people make greener choices, O2 has revealed the latest milestone from its O2 Recycle scheme – sharing that it has paid out more than a quarter of a billion pounds to tech users recycling their old devices through the scheme since its launch.

Launched in 2009, to date O2 Recycle has paid out more than £250 million and recycled around 3.3 million devices – hundreds of tonnes of e-waste – with zero going to landfill.[1] Almost 95% of the tech that comes into the Recycle scheme is refurbished and re-used, extending the life of the devices and supporting the circular economy. The scheme is open to everyone, regardless of their network, and absolutely none of the devices received go into landfill.

O2’s partnership with Ingram Micro began in April 2020. Since then, the partnership has saved more than 128,000 devices (an estimated 21 tonnes of tech waste) from going to landfill and paid back more than £18 million to customers. [2] More than 20,000 recycled devices have already been repurposed for O2’s Like New scheme, meaning they go on to be refurbished and data wiped for new owners.

Tracey Herald, Head of Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability at O2 said: “E-waste is reportedly the world’s fastest-growing domestic waste stream, so schemes like O2 Recycle that give old tech a new lease of life and keep it out of landfill have never been so important. As well as supporting the circular economy, O2 customers using the scheme have the option to use their Recycle payment as a cashback boost towards their next phone, so they can upgrade sustainably.

“£250 million and 3.3 million devices later, it’s clear to see that O2 Recycle customers care about the environment just as much as we do – and we’re looking forward to helping more people make greener choices as we strive to become net zero by 2025.”

Kevin Coleman, Vice President – Technology EMEA at Ingram Micro, said: “We’re very proud to be working so closely with O2 to help people make greener choices through O2 Recycle. As well as rewarding customers for trading in their old electronics, our partnership has given O2 the ability to buy back and re-use these devices – with tens of thousands going on to find new homes through Like New.”

Businesses must lead the charge when it comes to tackling the climate crisis, which is why O2 has become the only mobile network operator to commit to net zero by 2025, while working with supply chain partners aiming to reduce carbon emissions by 30% in the next five years. It is also reducing CO2 by buying 100% renewable electricity to power its network[3], and is the only mobile network operator to receive the highest certification for carbon reduction in its supply chain from the Carbon Trust.

O2 is currently offering enhanced offers for customers trading in their old tech and purchasing selected new devices.* For example, until 30 June O2 customers can get an extra £200 when they buy the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G, S21 Plus 5G or S21 5G and trade in their old phone with O2 Recycle. For more information please visit o2recycle.co.uk/.*

To find out more about O2’s continued commitment to be one of the UK’s leading responsible businesses, read its Responsible Business Blueprint.

ENDS

[1] Correct as of 30 March 2021

[2] Estimated figures from April 2020-present provided by O2 Recycle’s partner, Ingram Micro (May 2020)

[3] Every O2 office, store, and phone mast where O2 directly controls the bill is powered by renewable electricity. Correct as of 31 December 2020. For further information see: o2.co.uk/our-blueprint/environment