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Old mobile phones could be collected as part of your recycling

Old mobile phones and other electronic devices could be collected as part of your recycling under new Government plan

  • The Government is considering introducing collections for electronic waste 
  •  Old mobile phones could be left on the kerbside under the new plans 
  • MPs have previously urged that online retailers should be made responsible for helping to collect, recycle and repair their products 

Old mobile phones could be left on the kerbside with recycling under plans to make councils collect electronics.

The Government is considering introducing collections for electronic waste across the country. A consultation will be carried out later this year.

Ministers are also debating whether to make online retailers such as Apple pick up their products to reduce the 155,000 tonnes of electronics thrown away each year in the UK.

Old mobile phones could be left on the kerbside with recycling under plans to make councils collect electronics 

In a statement, the Environmental Audit Committee said: ‘Research has been commissioned to evaluate the success of these projects and the potential for further rollout across the country.’

The costs of a national street pick-up scheme should be ‘apportioned’, it added.

Philip Dunne MP, committee chairman of the Commons committee, said he was ‘pleased’ ministers had recognised that efforts were needed to make e-recycling easier.

In their report last year, MPs urged that online retailers should be made responsible for helping to collect, recycle and repair their products to cut the 155,000 tonnes of electronic waste being thrown away each year in the UK.

They are also looking at introducing provisions within the Environment Bill to improve awareness for consumers about how easy it is to recycle and repair products to help inform buyer choices, officials said in their reply to the committee.

Tory MP Mr Dunne said: ‘Levelling the playing field for online giants and physical retailers in the take-back of e-waste is important if we are to cut down on the amount of e-waste disposed of incorrectly.

In their report last year, MPs urged that online retailers should be made responsible for helping to collect, recycle and repair their products to cut the 155,000 tonnes of electronic waste being thrown away each year in the UK

In their report last year, MPs urged that online retailers should be made responsible for helping to collect, recycle and repair their products to cut the 155,000 tonnes of electronic waste being thrown away each year in the UK

‘We need to make urgent improvements to the reuse and recycling of such products, and I am pleased that the Government has recognised the role online retailers and marketplaces should play in taking increased responsibility for the e-waste streams they help generate.

‘It is also reassuring that the Environment Bill could pave the way for better labelling on the recyclability of products and informing consumers what components have been recycled.

‘As the Bill’s passage through Parliament has been delayed, it may be some time until we see products on shelves giving this detail. It is important that the Government keeps up the pace towards this goal.’ However, Mr Dunne said the Government had ignored the committee’s recommendation to call for the recovery of critical raw materials, such as tungsten and cobalt, from old electronics during the recycling process.

He said without reclaiming the metals, which are used in wind turbines, solar panels and car batteries, there was a ‘serious risk of creating supply shortages’.

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