Food retailer Co-op has expanded its partnership with tech recirculation start-up, Spring.
Some 30 Co-op stores host Spring’s kiosks which enable consumers to drop off their unwanted electricals items – such as smartphones – in exchange for money. But thanks to a new development 75 stores across the UK will be linked to the tech recirculation process.
This is because Spring has introduced reusable pouches to send back their unwanted devices. The new service, known as Spring Post, launches this week in 45 Co-op stores in Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Leeds, London, Manchester, and Swansea, with customers able to collect a pouch and send gadgets by post rather than using the machines.
Mark Matthews, director of format & innovation at Co-op Food, said: “Expanding our partnership with Spring enables more communities to unlock the value in forgotten phones and other unwanted tech which are then re-used or recycled avoiding unnecessary e-waste.
“We are committed to creating added services which provide a compelling customer offer in our communities and, making it quick, easy and convenient for shoppers to make small changes to their everyday lives, can add up to make a big difference for our planet and natural environment.”
Spring estimates each UK household has an average of £795 of technology that they no longer use, underlining the potential for people to earn significant cash from items they already own.
Devices sent to Spring using the new pouches will be received the next working day by Spring’s tech experts. They inspect the items and confirm the value, before they are refurbished and recirculated back into the market, as part of a circular economy play.
James Seear, Spring co-founder, remarked: “People don’t tend to realise the value that their pre-loved phones and other devices still hold.
“It’s also important to know that over time the value will drop, so there’s never been a better time than now to earn some extra money from your annual Spring clean.”
The pouches are made from heavy-duty waterproof canvas, with Spring claiming they can be reused up to 2,000 times. According to the tech recirculation business using Spring Post also reduces packaging waste when compared to traditional padded envelopes which often can’t be reused or recycled.
Once a customer has sent a pouch back to with their tech inside, the packaging is reset with new security seals and prepared for reuse for another customer, according to Spring.
[Image credit: Spring]