Virgin Media O2 has expanded its O2 Recycle service to allow gamers to trade in their unwanted games consoles for cash and help prevent electronic waste (e-waste).

With an estimated 18 million unused consoles stashed in cupboards and drawers across the UK, gaming enthusiasts can now claim cash for an unwanted Xbox or defunct PlayStation, via the expanded recycling initiative.

The O2 Recycle service first launched in 2009 and has already recycled almost four million mobile devices. The scheme will now include popular gaming systems from PlayStation, Xbox, Oculus and Nintendo as well as MacBooks, smartphones, tablets, wearables and earbuds.

As part of a wider push to tackle e-waste and promote the circular economy, all devices will be repaired, refurbished and resold, or recycled – with zero parts going to landfill.

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The rollout is in response to research showing more than half (58%) of gamers were unaware that consoles could be recycled while eight in ten (83%) admit they’re holding onto old consoles, despite not planning to use them.

Scott Butler, executive director from Recycle Your Electricals, said:“We’ve all got that ‘drawer of doom’ stashed full of electricals, including cables, spare plugs, phones, and for some of us a stash of spare game consoles and accessories. Now’s the time to cash in your old electricals.

“Our research found that households could make anything from £1,300 to £6,000 by selling their unwanted electricals. This great initiative by O2 Recycle will make it easier for all those gaming consoles to be either sold or recycled.”

In October last year, Virgin Media O2 Business launched a Carbon Calculator and a tech donation programme to help provide clearer emissions data and address social and environmental issues associated with tech.

Based on whether the console is fully working, gamers can receive up to £283 for a PlayStation 5, up to £110 for a Nintendo Switch OLED) model and up to £238 for an Xbox Series X.

Climate crisisMaterials and packagingNature and the environmentNet zeroNewsPolicyRetailSocial sustainabilityTech

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