TV-loving Brits slow to recycle old sets

Despite being able to watch TV on laptops, smartphones and tablets, Brits still prefer to enjoy their favourite shows on a television set, new research has revealed.

Indeed, almost half (49 per cent) of UK households own at least five TVs, according to a survey carried out by WEEE producer compliance scheme Repic. But it also showed that we Brits are still lagging behind when it comes to recycling old TVs.

Flat-screen and HD TVs are the most popular choice, with 64 per cent of people surveyed owning at least one. LCD and LED technology accounted for almost a fifth (19 per cent).

Surprisingly, chunky old CVRT TVs and black-and-white TVs are still being watched, with six per cent of over-60s using them for their main household screen. Liverpudlians were found to be the most attached to retro viewing, with one-in-10 (9.8 per cent) still watching TV this way.

Screen sizes matter, with 41 per cent of the people surveyed saying their TV screen size was between 40 to 49in. While 17 per cent said they opted for a minimum screen size of 50in. These were particularly popular in Scotland, where a fifth opted for screens above 50 inches – 22 per cent in Glasgow and 28 per cent in Edinburgh.

Dr Philip Morton
Dr Philip Morton

The research revealed that people tend to be a little cautious when replacing TVs, with just under half (49 per cent) only swopping a TV when it breaks. However, Londoners are the most likely to upgrade to the latest model, with 31 per cent upgrading when something new comes along.

More than two-thirds (67 per cent) of homeowners said they had at least one broken TV in their home collecting dust. But when it comes to recycling these, a third of people said they wished they knew more and 15 per cent admitted they had no idea which electricals, including TVs, could be recycled.

Dr Philip Morton (pictured), chief executive of Repic, said: “Surveys such as these provide us with useful insight. It isn’t surprising that we’re increasingly collecting TVs, but for Repic the important message to stress is that old and broken TVs need to be recycled through the correct channels. Reuse is something that should be considered too. If they aren’t being used, and if they are in good working condition, they could be passed on to someone else or donated to a reuse centre.”

Repic is responsible for funding the recycling of many of the six million or so end-of-life TVs discarded in the UK each year.