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WRAP sees multibillion pound market for used electricals

The market for second hand electrical goods in the UK could be worth up to £3bn, a WRAP study has indicated.

The organisation’s latest report, Switched on to Value, suggested that UK householders have at least £1bn worth of electrical and electronic equipment that they no longer use, and two-thirds of consumers would be willing to trade in their used products for new ones.

WRAP says there are real opportunities for business and consumers to develop a market of second hand electricals: “If retailers adopt a trade-in model they could meet consumer demand and access new markets by reselling the unwanted items.”

However, a third of used electrical goods ends up in landfill and only 7% is reused. This is mainly because more than half of consumers do not know where to trade in their items.

The organisation will therefore work with companies to evaluate and demonstrate new trade-in approaches.

The report also highlighted that up to a third of consumers were dissatisfied with the short life span of electrical household appliances such as fridge, freezers and vacuum cleaners.

Changes at the design stage could help these products last longer. A WRAP design review indicated 15 out of 16 products could be improved to deliver significant cost savings and reduced returns.

WRAP and Defra will work on an initiative to unlock the potential of the electrical reuse market. The Sustainable Electricals Action Plan was announced as part of the Waste Prevention Programme.

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