UK households sitting on £17bn of small electricals, says report

25th June 2020 | Recycling

UK households could have made £17bn from second hand resale value of the old small electricals lying around their home, around £620 per household, according to a recent study by non-profit organisation Material Focus.

The study, released yesterday (24 June) and entitled “Hidden Treasures”, revealed that households across the UK are throwing away 155,000 tonnes of small electricals every year. This equates to a total of 527 million disused electrical products, or 20 per household. If these products were to be reused or passed on, they would have a total resale value of £17 billion.

Small electricals

In turn, the reuse or passing on of disused electricals would result in potential savings of £370 million for the UK economy. This figure is the total value of the valuable or rare metals, such as gold, silver aluminium or steel, found in these products. Furthermore, with an estimated two million tonnes of electrical waste discarded by the public every year, reusing and repurposing small electricals could save up to 2.8 million tonnes in carbon emissions, or the equivalent of taking 1.3 million cars off the road. Among the most hoarded electrical products are laptops, speakers and cables, which total just over 200 million across the UK.

In a bid to prevent the permanent loss of valuable raw materials found in electrical items the UK economy, Material Focus has launched a nationwide campaign, “Recycle Your Electricals”, to encourage households to start reusing and recycling their electricals.

As part of the campaign, Material Focus has launched an information hub, making it easier for households to access recycle facilities. The campaign is calling on UK householder to gather up their old unwanted electricals and then put them in a bag ready to be recycled once a lockdown has lifted and local recycling facilities have reopened.

More information available on the website below