Telecoms and IT industry analyst Ovum has calculated that around 8 million mobile phones were recycled in the UK in 2009. That's twice as many as were recycled two years ago.
The upward trend seems to be driven by financial rather than environmental benefits, with the UK having become the most developed and competitive handset recycling market in the world. Ovum estimates that 26.5% of the 30.2 million devices recycled in Western Europe last year were from the UK.
Jeremy Green, co-author of the Ovum report, said "The UK has seen an influx of online players that offer cash for old mobile phones. This increase in competition has resulted in a more cut-throat market and a commercial business model that has moved away from the original intention of responsible recycling and reducing landfill."