Is Now the Time to Recycle Your Mobile Phone?


As of 2020, the UK had the second-highest rate of mobile penetration in the world, with 78.9% of the population owning a smartphone during this time. 

Of the UK’s 67.89 million total population, 53.58 million own and regularly use a mobile phone, with only the US boasting a higher rate of penetration at 81.6%.

Interestingly, a growing number of people also retain several older mobile phones, with many unsure of what to do with their haul. In this post, we’ll discuss the merits of recycling your mobile phone, while asking how best to make this objective a reality.

What are the Benefits of Recycling Your Smartphone?

Typically, most people look to monetise their old phones by reselling them online, with rising mobile penetration rates having created an increased demand for second-hand handsets.

In the current market, there are sites that pledge to sell your iPhone 12 and similar devices directly to customers, while promising to pay you 100% of the initial price quoted or send the handset back free of charge.

However, there’s now considerable opportunity to recycle your unwanted smartphones, while also seeking out alternative uses for a number of its key components.

This is important from an environmental perspective, particularly as a growing number of the materials used to manufacture smartphones are highly valuable and capable of being both extracted and reused.

These include metals and plastics, so there’s no doubt that deciding to have your phone recycled can contribute to a healthier natural environment and incrementally reduce the demand for mined materials.

How to Recycle Your Phone Safely and Effectively

Firstly, you’ll need to decide how you intend to recycle your smartphone, as there are various outlets that accept such devices.

For example, there are charities that accept old mobile phones, with this enabling you to get rid of devices that are outdated and don’t work.

However, for those of you with newer and functional handsets, you may prefer to utilise free outlets such as Freegle or Freecycle, or even consider selling them to the type of sites referenced above or multi-purpose ecommerce marketplaces like Gumtree, Amazon or eBay.

Once you’ve chosen an outlet through which to recycle your phone, the next step is to ensure that the device is cleaned and cleared of your personal data.

This helps to safeguard your privacy, payment information and most sensitive information, ensuring that there are no issues or complications in instances where your device is sold onto a third party.


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