Co-op is continuing its efforts recycling electrical items after extending its partnership with tech-recirculation start-up, Spring.
Drop-off kiosks are being rolled out to more Co-op stores, enabling consumers to cut e-waste and unlock value from their old and unwanted phones and electronic devices.
Co-op started working with Spring in October 2021, providing an in-store service for recycling old tech in 20 of its London stores. Devices collected through the scheme are refurbished or recycled by Spring, with those depositing items paid for their unwanted goods.
Following the London launch last year, the initiative has now been rolled-out to selected Co-op stores in Birmingham, Brighton, Leeds, and Manchester – as the retailer previously promised.
Phones, tablets, e-readers and smartwatches are among the items Spring’s pods can collect. They get repaired, refurbished, reused, or recycled by the expert team at the London-based start-up.
Where devices cannot be re-used, Spring said it will ensure components – which include materials such as gold, copper, aluminium, steel – are recycled. These resources are traditionally typically discarded when phones are thrown away.
Mark Matthews, Co-op’s director of innovation & format, said: “Co-op’s partnership with Spring will enable more communities to recycle or reuse their electronic devices locally, unlocking the value in forgotten phones and other unwanted tech and, importantly, preventing unnecessary and avoidable e-waste.
“If we are going to have a natural environment which we are proud to pass on to future generations we need action to be taken now. By making it easier for consumers to make small changes to their everyday lives, together, it can add up to make a big difference for our environment.”
Commenting on the benefits of recycling electrical items, Spring co-founder, Tom Williams, said: “Leaving an unused device in a drawer means that rather than it being reused by someone else, it’s taken out of circulation and needs to be replaced with something new.
“Spring, together with Co-op, is making it easy for people to recirculate unwanted tech, which not only puts money in their pockets but also has a positive impact on the environment. We’ve already made a huge impact with our first pods in London and we’re excited to bring this to more local communities”.
[Image credit: Co-op/Spring]