Tesco Mobile is aiming to recycle one million old handsets within the next year as part of its new recycling initiative.
Postage paid recycling envelopes are now available in Tesco stores. Customers will be rewarded with up to £70 of Tesco Mobile credit or Tesco gift vouchers. Users can also choose to donate £3 to the British Red Cross.
Secondhand phones that are working will be sent abroad to developing countries such as Kenya or India. Non-functioning handsets will be forwarded to specialist companies for ‘refining’, which involves recovering the small amounts of precious metals from the phone. They will also dispose of the battery safely.
Every handset sent in for recycling will be checked via the national police database for stolen goods. Tesco Mobile will inform the customer and the police if a handset is found to be stolen.
According to research conducted by the MVNO, an extra two million mobile phones are expected to be thrown out this Christmas, with 11 million people expecting to get a new phone for Christmas.
Tesco Mobile chief executive officer Andy Dewhurst said: “These results are very worrying. We’ve decided to take positive steps in response to these findings by launching the service. As a nation, we’re becoming greater consumers of electronic goods and with constant technological advances we’re upgrading them more frequently too –
these goods have almost become disposable.”