Massive Unseen Treasure: British Companies Hoarding 12 Million Phones and Tablet

Virgin Media O2's Bold Move to Help Businesses Recycle and Go Green

3 mins read

Key Takeaways:

  • Virgin Media O2 reveals that UK businesses are holding onto nearly 12 million unused mobile phones and tablets.
  • The company is enhancing its ‘O2 Recycle for Business’ initiative, making it easier for companies to recycle their old devices, earn cash back, and support sustainability.
  • A new study shows that 7 in 10 companies want to be more environmentally friendly but lack knowledge on how to handle electronic waste.

In a surprising revelation, Virgin Media O2 has exposed a hidden treasure trove of unused mobile phones and tablets, with UK businesses collectively hoarding nearly 12 million of these devices. As concerns about electronic waste and sustainability grow, Virgin Media O2 is taking action to help companies recycle their old technology and embark on a greener path.

A New Era of Sustainability

Virgin Media O2 is revitalizing its ‘O2 Recycle for Business’ service to assist companies of all sizes in trading in their outdated devices. This initiative allows businesses to receive cash back, credit toward new devices, or the option to donate funds to charity when they recycle their old technology. Importantly, any company, regardless of their mobile provider, can make use of the O2 Recycle for Business service.

Since its inception in 2009, O2 Recycle has processed over 3.8 million business and consumer devices, and last year alone, it paid out more than £670,000 to businesses. Notably, the initiative follows environmentally responsible practices by data wiping devices and ensuring that 92% of them are either recycled or refurbished and resold as ‘like new’ products. This commitment to the circular economy ensures that none of the technology processed through O2 Recycle ends up in a landfill.

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Businesses Seek Sustainability Solutions

The surge in electronic waste has prompted UK businesses to seek solutions for responsible disposal of their old tech. A recent study reveals that 7 out of 10 (70%) companies express a desire to become more environmentally friendly but are unsure about how to handle their electronic waste. This uncertainty has led many organizations to store unused phones and laptops for an average of one year.

Furthermore, the study finds that three-quarters (76%) of firms acknowledge the need to be more responsible in disposing of old tech, and 8 out of 10 (82%) organizations are actively seeking simple solutions to facilitate the recycling of their unwanted devices.

Five-Step Recycling Process

Virgin Media O2 is simplifying the process of recycling phones and tablets through the enhanced O2 Recycle for Business platform. Companies can now recycle their devices in just five straightforward steps, including registering multiple devices at once and arranging a free courier collection to take the devices away. This streamlined approach is not only convenient for businesses but also encourages employees working remotely to recycle their unused devices easily.

Additionally, businesses can use their recycling credit to purchase new devices through O2 or contribute up to 100% of the cash back to Virgin Media O2’s charity partner, Good Things Foundation, supporting digital inclusion projects across the UK.

O2 Recycle for Business also plays a crucial role in helping organizations reduce their Scope 3 supply chain carbon emissions by ensuring that devices are more likely to be given a second life.

Part of a Larger Sustainability Plan

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This initiative is part of Virgin Media O2’s broader sustainability strategy known as the Better Connections Plan. Under this plan, the company aims to support consumers and businesses in carrying out 10 million ‘circular actions’ by the end of 2025. These actions encompass environmentally responsible practices and the reduction of electronic waste.

Jo Bertram, Managing Director at Virgin Media O2 Business, emphasized the simplicity and benefits of O2 Recycle for Business, stating, “O2 Recycle for Business provides companies with a simple way to remove unused devices cluttering their offices – and be rewarded for it. Open to businesses of all sizes whether a customer of ours or not, this initiative provides businesses with a responsible method to dispose of their e-waste, all while providing the trade-in value of the device or the opportunity to donate that to our charity partner, Good Things Foundation.”

Real-world Impact

Miranda Apps at GB Railfreight highlighted the positive impact of O2 Recycle, saying, “O2 Recycle has enabled our organization to safely recycle our obsolete devices, minimizing pollution and waste. This saves energy and also reduces greenhouse gas emissions, which helps to tackle climate change. The process has been easy to manage and is a cost-effective way to reutilize old equipment.”

In conclusion, Virgin Media O2’s commitment to helping businesses recycle their old devices and become more environmentally responsible is a significant step towards a greener future. With millions of unused phones and tablets waiting to be recycled, this initiative not only benefits businesses but also contributes to a more sustainable and eco-friendly world.

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Link to O2 Recycle for Business: Learn More


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