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Third of UK consumers don’t know how to recycle electronics

Saf Malik
September 1, 2021

BT reveals it has recycled nearly a million pieces of BT equipment since the start of 2020

Almost a third of the UK are unaware of how to recycle electronics according to new research from BT. 

41 per cent of Brits revealed they have cupboards, drawers, or bags full of unwanted electrical waste.

BT has said it has recycled nearly a million pieces of BT equipment since the start of 2020, preventing nearly 170 tonnes of electrical waste from going to landfill. 

The research found that the most common items Brits don’t know how to recycle are printers (31 per cent), cables (30 per cent) and hair dryers (29 per cent), all of which can be recycled. 

74 per cent admit to having chucked electronics into black bin liners, committing the goods to landfill rather than taking them to be recycled. 

When it comes to good intentions, younger people are getting in a tangle over unwanted electronics, with nearly twice as many 16 to 24 year olds (40 per cent) unsure what to do when it comes to recycling e-waste, compared to those over 55 (21 per cent). 

BT director of Broadband Matthew Hughes said: “We made some changes in 2019 that make it compulsory to return broadband routers to us after use, which has really boosted our recycling efforts. 

“Thanks to these changes and the commitment of our customers, we’ve prevented the release of 11,430 tonnes of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of 6,000 flights from London to Tokyo¹.”

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