BY KATIE - MYGREENPOD, 06 August '15

Nationwide service lets you trade in old mobile phones and tablets

Shoppers can now trade in their unwanted mobiles and tablets at Argos stores up and down the country in a first-of-its kind initiative. Depending on customer response, the scheme may be extended to include other electrical items such as cameras, laptops and sat-navs.

Argos, in partnership with circular economy experts WRAP, has introduced the new service in all of its 788 UK stores.

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Embracing the circular economy

This new scheme is the result of the EU Life+-funded REBus project. Led by WRAP, the service helps companies implement commercially attractive and resource-efficient business models that keep products – and their materials – in use for longer.

‘It’s fantastic to see this kind of service become available over Argos store counters. Resource efficient business models mean we can get the most out of a product economically and environmentally whilst offering real opportunities for business growth. We hope that Argos’s success will pave the way for change and give others confidence to embrace the circular economy.’

Marcus Gover, Director at WRAP

REBus case study

 

£1bn of unused gadgets

WRAP research estimates that UK householders have around £1 billion worth of electrical and electronic equipment in their homes that is no longer used. Two-thirds of those surveyed said they would be willing to trade in their tech products with reputable retailers.

If customers decide to trade in their gadget (initially mobile phones and tablets), they will get an Argos gift card to spend in store. The gadgets will then be refurbished in the UK and re-sold. 

‘As a leading technology retailer we know that our customers are looking for solutions to responsibly dispose of unwanted gadgets when they replace or trade-up devices. By working with WRAP, we’ve been able to find the most effective path for our business to offer this and achieve wide-scale company buy-in to the business model. A model that has scalability, commercial potential and credibility, which all adds critical value to our brand. 

‘Depending on the response from customers, we may extend the scheme to include other electrical items in the future, such as camera, sat-navs or laptops.’

Amy Whidburn, Head of Corporate Responsibility at Argos

Good for business

Argos’s gadget trade-in service is one of a number of pilots supported by the EU Life+-funded REBus project, through which WRAP is helping businesses take action and make the circular economy a reality.

In the UK WRAP also runs the sustainability action plan esap, which is working with the electrical and electronic sector to revolutionise how we design, manufacture, sell, repair, re-use and recycle electrical and electronic products.

Argos’s new gadget trade-in service is helping deliver esap by extending the life of products in a commercially attractive way that’s good for business, good for consumers and good for the environment.

Click here to find out more about WRAP. More on the REBus project can be found here.