Recycle player one: Give old consoles new life with Virgin Media O2

A man's hands holding a gaming controller
Natalie Clarkson
by Natalie Clarkson
19 March 2024

New research from Recycle Your Electricals has revealed there are around 18 million unused gaming consoles stashed in cupboards, drawers and lofts across the UK. Now, Virgin Media O2 is giving gamers a ‘power up’ so they can trade in their unwanted devices for cash and prevent e-waste.

O2 Recycle has expanded and now accepts popular gaming systems from PlayStation, Xbox, Oculus and Nintendo. People can send their unwanted tech to O2 Recycle for free where the device will be repaired, refurbished and resold, or recycled – with zero parts going to landfill.

Gamers can receive up to £283 for a PlayStation 5, up to £110 for a Nintendo Switch (OLED), or up to £238 for an Xbox Series X.

Scott Butler, Executive Director at 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 £6k 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.”

A man's hands holding a gaming controller, a screen shows a fighting game in the background

O2 Recycle is now also accepting MacBooks, as well as smartphones, tablets, wearables and earbuds to tackle e-waste, and to promote the circular economy where devices can be used again and again.

“We’ve powered up O2 Recycle to cover consoles and MacBooks, making it even easier for people to trade in their unwanted tech for cash and to protect the planet by saving their device from landfill,” Dana Haidan, Chief Sustainability Officer at Virgin Media O2 said. “With almost four million devices recycled and £340 million paid out, O2 Recycle is leading the UK’s circular economy and giving tech a second life so it can be used again and again.”

Giving tech a second life

Since its launch in 2009, O2 Recycle has recycled almost four million devices and paid out £341 million to consumers. The scheme is open to anyone, regardless of their mobile network, and last year it processed nearly 180,000 devices that were saved from landfill and recycled, or resold as ‘like new’ products to customers.

O2 Recycle forms part of Virgin Media O2’s sustainability strategy, the Better Connections Plan, and its goal to encourage consumers to carry out 10 million ‘circular actions’ by the end of 2025.

The company is also helping to prevent e-waste via its Community Calling programme with environmental charity, Hubbub, where more than 17,000 smartphones have been rehomed with people who need them across the UK.

Visit Virgin Media O2 to find out more.