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UK 2013 Mobile Phone Recycling Trend

Published May 22, 2013 in Travel
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UK 2013 Mobile Phone Recycling Trend... Read more

1888 PressRelease - Behaviours, Attitudes and Concerns of UK Residents in Regard to Used Mobile Phones.

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UK 2013 Mobile Phone Recycling Trend
1888 PressRelease - Behaviours, Attitudes and Concerns of UK Residents in Regard to Used Mobile Phones.

The following press release details the results of a survey conducted by mobile phone recycler, Top Dollar Mobile (

Online Survey

March 14, 2013 - April 18, 2013

Total: 1,229
Gender: 68.8% Female, 31.2% Male
Age Groups: 18 or below, 19-25, 26-35, 36-45, 46-55, 56 or above

Objectives of the survey

To develop a better understanding of the ownership of mobile phones in the UK population, particularly in regard to behaviours and attitudes toward the disposal, recycling and reuse of unwanted mobile phones. This will make it possible to more effectively encourage increased and improved methods of mobile phone reuse and disposal amongst the British public.
Primary findings from the UK 2013 Mobile Phone Recycling Survey
Reselling, Recycling and Disposing of Used Mobile Phones

55.9% of the respondents have sold or recycled their mobile phones. Around 60% of those surveyed under the age of 46 have sold or recycled their old mobile phones, but the older generations have not done so as much. 47.03% of 46 to 55 year olds have sold or recycled used mobile phone, whilst only 39.58% of those over the age of 55 have done so.

The single most popular means of disposal is to sell to mobile phone buyers or recycling companies (35.3%). Comparatively, the younger generation tends to sell their phones to mobile phone buyers or recycling companies while the older generation tends to donate to charities or organizations.

5.6% of old mobiles are thrown away, a practice highest amongst the 46 to 55 year old age group (8.42%) though it is perhaps a positive sign that no respondents aged 18 or under have thrown away a mobile phone. However, there is a notable tendency in this group to keep their old phones, which at 43.48% is more than double that of the next nearest group; those aged 56 or over, at 20.83%. Perhaps then, these old phones of the younger generation are simply being held longer before one day going to landfill.

Possession of "Not in Use" Mobile Phones

More than 60% of those surveyed possess one or more unused mobile phones and nearly half of the unused mobile phone owners have two or more.

The primary reason for keeping extra phones is to have a back-up in the event that their main phone breaks or is lost. Second and third reasons are low trade-in value and data contained on mobile; respectively.

Frequency of Purchase and Reasons for Buying New Mobile Phones
Almost 40% of respondents change their mobile phone every 2 years. The majority of those aged 46 or above are more likely to use their phones for three or more years (Age group 46 - 55: 41%; 56 or above: 51%).

The most common reason for buying a new mobile phone is to access the latest technology and features (47.8%), and it is predominantly a behaviour of those aged between 19 and 45. Promotional offers attract those aged 56 or above significantly more than any other reason and a relatively large proportion of those aged 18 or below buy a new mobile phone because they do not like their current one (30.77%).

Methods and Concerns about Reselling Old Mobile Phones

Three-quarters of respondents prefers to receive cash (55.4%) or gift cards (18.9%) while recycling their old mobile phones. The rest choose to donate to charities or organisations (9.4%), give to someone in need (12.9%), whilst 2.8% will neither sell nor recycle. The results show that the older the respondent, the more willing they are to donate their old phone.

Regarding selling or recycling mobile phones, the main concern of all age groups is the selling or recycling price, followed by ease of selling or recycling process, payment method, payment processing time, trade in service and of least concern is customer service.

Health and Environmental Concerns of Discarded Mobile Phones

All respondents agreed that discarded mobile phones represent potential hazards to the environment and one's health. The hazard agreed on most strongly was that "frequent replacement causes rapid accumulation", followed by "intensifying pollution problems", "accumulation will cause serious environmental problem", "would hasten the saturation of landfills", "eventually huge expenses to handle growing mass of discarded mobile phones" and "causing health problems".

Use and Purchase of Second Hand Mobile Phones

The results reflect that virtually 50/50 have used a second hand mobile phone (50.2% answering 'yes').

A clear generational divide is revealed in that more than half of those up to 35 years of age have used a second hand mobile phone whilst less than half of those aged over 35 have done so.

Between 30 and 40% of respondents aged over 25 would not buy a second hand mobile phone unless it cost less than 60% of the original price. Interestingly, it is the younger respondents; those aged up to 25 years, who are prepared to pay more for a second hand mobile phone - with 38% to 43% willing to pay between 70 and 90% of the phone's original price. As much as 39% of those over 56 years of age would not buy a second hand phone.


Although awareness of the hazards of discarded mobile phones is high amongst UK residents, and most old phones do not go to landfill, there is still a significant number being thrown away and a considerably larger number that are kept unused, not even as back-ups.

With these results in mind, Top Dollar Mobile is keen to increase awareness of the hazards or discarding old mobile phones, and to promote the benefits of reusing, recycling, donating or selling them rather than throwing them away or keeping them to gather dust.

If you have unused mobile phones at home or in the office, it's straight forward to recycle or donate them.

For further information contact the Top Dollar Mobile marketing team at webmaster ( @ ) topdollarmobile dot co dot uk
About Top Dollar Mobile
Top Dollar Mobile, operated by GY Telecom Ltd., offers one of the most extensive model ranges available on the market. It is part of a global group company; one of the world's largest second hand mobile phone traders, with the most extensive wholesale networking across the world.

Top Dollar Mobile was rated "Best Overall", from a selection of phone recycling websites offering the highest prices, in the February 2011 issue of Good Housekeeping Magazine.

In promoting the concept of recycling and re-use, Top Dollar Mobile helps to reduce levels of electronic waste that would otherwise end up in landfills; potentially polluting the environment. Their work not only directly benefits the company and their customers, but also assists people in poorer economic countries.