Join the electrical amnesty this Pass it on Week

Old smartphones

Most of us have unused gadgets lying around at home, but an electrical amnesty in Scotland will release us from this mountain of tech.

This year's Pass it on Week (March 11th to 19th) – a Scotland-wide campaign to get unused stuff back into circulation – will include the Big Electric Amnesty whereby businesses, schools and community groups can receive an amnesty box to collect unused and unwanted gadgets. They'll be picked up for free by Zero Waste Scotland and data professionally deleted.

Zero Waste Scotland, the organisation behind the event, says 59 per cent of people in the UK reckon they have an electrical item at home that they no longer use. In Scotland, 32 per cent of people have an old smartphone knocking about, a quarter have a digital camera they don't use and 19 per cent have an unneeded computer or laptop.

All this unused gadgetry mounts up: in Scotland 365,000 potentially reusable TVs are sent to landfill every year while the average UK household spends around £800 on new electrical and electronic goods.

"Many of us are guilty of tucking our old tech away for a rainy day, and with around 60 per cent of people in the UK admitting to having unused gadgets at home," says says Andrew Pankhurst, Zero Waste Scotland's Re-use Campaigns Manager. "That's a lot of equipment that could benefit someone else.

"This Pass It On Week we really want Scots to think about the value in their unwanted tech. Not only could it mean a lot to someone else but everyone also has a part to play in helping Scotland achieve its zero waste ambitions. Reuse is a key factor in that.

"By changing the way we design, make, buy and dispose of unwanted electrical and electronic items we could reduce the UK's carbon footprint by 15 per cent and add around £800 million to the economy."