More than 12 million smartphones and tables that are no longer in use will be collected and recycled by Virgin Media O2 through its improved “O2 Recycle for Business” scheme. The scheme allows businesses to easily recycle their devices in simple steps, such as registering multiple devices at once and having a free courier pickup.
Companies can use the O2 Recycle for Business platform to give 5%, 10%, 25%, 50% or 100% of the value of their traded-in devices to Good Things Foundation. The scheme has recycled or refurbished 92% of the devices it has collected so far, thus promoting the circular economy. O2 Recycle has handled over 3.8 million devices from businesses and consumers since it started in 2009, and paid out more than £670,000 to businesses last year.
O2 Recycle claims that none of the technology it processes goes to landfills and the service is now open to all businesses and mobile providers, regardless of whether they are Virgin Media O2 customers or not. To recall, a similar e-waste recycling initiative was launched earlier this year, with the collaboration of twelve global telecom operators, including Tele2 and Orange, in partnership with the GSMA. The GSMA further discovered that refurbished phones can reduce the climate impact by 87% compared to new mobile phones.