How much unused technology do UK households contain?


Brits seem to cling to old smartphones, laptops and tablets (Getty Images)

British households contain more than £ 20 billion worth of unused technology, including old smartphones, laptops and tablets, according to a survey.

A survey found that the average home had £ 813.90 worth of tech lying around in drawers, cupboards and shelves.

This equates to £ 20 billion worth of unused devices in the 26.3 million homes across the country with access to connectivity.

And the average adult hasn’t completely gotten rid of old technology in over three and a half years, according to a survey of 2,000 adults.

While 81% have a dusty cell phone in a drawer that hasn’t been used for over a year.

Max Taylor, Director of Consumer Affairs, Vodafone UK, who commissioned the study, said: “It’s shocking how much old technology we have lying around in our homes.

“It’s easy to keep an old tech device in case something goes wrong with a new one, but when that ‘just in case’ moment hasn’t come in a year, maybe it’s time to sort it out. problem. “

The survey also found that lack of motivation, lack of time and having to erase documents are some of the main reasons it takes so long to clean.

And rather than throwing away old tech, adults keep it handy “just in case” something happens to their upgraded phone, and two in 10 just can’t bother to get rid of it. .

Almost a fifth of those polled also admitted that they see themselves as an accumulator when it comes to technology.

Another quarter would be more likely to sell an old car when buying a new one than to sell tech items when buying a replacement car.

It’s also found that more than 1 in 10 people feel the need to stay on top of the latest technology, with a third believing that the best time to buy new technology is on release day or some time after.

While one in three expects to receive at least one tech gift this Christmas, thousands of people are expected to hit Boxing Day sales to buy new gadgets.

But despite an Ofcom report showing that 1.5 million households live in ‘digital exclusion’ – meaning they lack the connectivity, devices or digital skills to participate in society – two in 10 adults did not know that it was possible to donate an old device to charity.

Currently, only 6% would consider donating their old technology to charity.

Plus, up to 48% don’t know how to recycle or dispose of old technology responsibly.

While four in ten people don’t know what digital poverty means, 57 percent consider Internet access and connectivity to be a basic right.

According to the OnePoll study, more than a third would donate their old device if they knew it would make a difference to someone.

To encourage people to donate their unused technology, Vodafone has teamed up with Roman Kemp to launch ‘ReBoxing Day’.

Max Taylor added, “With so much modern tech-centric life, those without access risk being left behind.

“Most people have old appliances at home that they know they will never use again.

“This is why this Christmas we are calling on the UK public to help us fight digital poverty by donating their old devices, anyone can donate an old device – you don’t need to be a Vodafone customer to participate.

“Then we’ll add six more months of free data, calls and texts, and give your old device to those who need it most. “


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