Half of Brits say they would now buy a greener smartphone

More than half of British smartphone users say they would be more likely to choose a device that is rated better for the environment, highlighting the increasing influence of sustainability on the industry.

A new study from O2 found 56% consider it important that their next phone is eco-friendly – a figure that increases to 75% among 16–24-year-olds.

Two fifths (38%) of all users would ever consider buying a handset that had inferior specifications if it had less of an environmental impact.

Sustainable smartphones

As many as 2.7 million people have participated in the company's O2 Recycle scheme, with £226 million paid out to customers. In recent years, the average has been £500,000 a week.

All devices are data-wiped and either reused or recycled. As many as 95 per cent of are in a condition to be resold, with the remainder disposed of responsibly and the valuable materials returned to the supply chain.

As the price of new handsets increases, refurbished devices are gaining popularity. O2 says most devices are sold in the UK, reducing carbon footprint even further due to lower transportation requirements. 

Other environmental initiatives from the operator include the elimination of single use plastic packaging in its own-brand accessories and the sale of handsets without a charger.

“As a responsible business, we recognise the importance of doing the right thing for our customers and for the planet,” said Nicola Green, director of corporate affairs at O2. “We’re extremely proud that, over the last ten years, our pioneering O2 Recycle scheme has saved 450 tonnes of waste from landfill – that’s the equivalent of thirty-five London buses, as well as paying over £225 million back to environmentally conscious customers.”

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