esap: WRAP plan to innovate re-use and recycling of electr(on)ical products

Source: Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP)

Banbury, UK — Leading organisations from across the UK electricals sector are set to revolutionise the way in buying, using and disposing of electrical items through the Electrical and Electronic Sustainability Action Plan (esap). The esap signatories, which include organisations representing two third of the UK’s TV sales, were unveiled two days ago at WRAP’s Resources Limited conference in London.

esap will be led by WRAP on behalf of UK governments and builds on the delivery body’s expertise in this area. It will help organisations – that design, manufacture, sell, repair, re-use and recycle electrical and electronic products – to work collaboratively across the product life-cycle. This shows the signatories commitment to reducing the environmental impact of electrical and electronic products in ways that bring benefits to consumers and industry alike.

Signatories’ actions, which include: implementing new business models such as take-back and resale; extending product durability; and, gaining greater value from reuse and recycling, could significantly boost the UK economy as well as help future proof our resources.

A win – win situation

It’s estimated that the UK market value for trading pre-owned equipment to be worth up to £3 billion. Encouraging the trade-in of used TVs alone could grow UK GDP by over £750 million per year by 2020. With esap signatories representing two thirds of the UK’s TV sales this vision could become a reality. If the TV model was scaled up to the whole electronics sector, this could increase GDP by around £5.25 billion.

This is a win – win situation for consumers and businesses. Consumers could get money for a product they no longer want, someone who can’t normally afford a product or particular brand can now do so from a reputable source. Businesses can generate great customer loyalty and reach a market basis previously lost to them through the simple 3 R route – Reward, Refurb and Resell.

Creating new opportunities

Dr Liz Goodwin, CEO, WRAP, said: “I am delighted with the take up of esap from the electricals industry, which has the potential to revolutionise how we design, manufacture, sell, repair, re-use, and recycle electrical and electronic products. By making better use of resources, businesses can better safeguard their future through creating new opportunities for economic and environmental benefits, whilst saving consumers money.”

Fiona Ball, Head of Responsible Business, Sky, said: “Our new partnership with WRAP will help us to drive even greater resource efficiencies across the whole product life cycle, with a particular focus on the reuse and recycling of our products. We look forward to collaborating both with WRAP and our fellow signatories.”

Matt Sexton, Director of Corporate Social Responsibility, B&Q, said: “Our work with WRAP on alternative business models validated many of our initial assumptions, with data and customer research that was detailed, comprehensive and gave us all we needed to be able to present the case for change credibly within our business.  Subsequent discussion with potential service providers have proved our data to have been extremely accurate which I think reflects well on WRAP’s methods and choice of consultancy partners.”

WRAP is continuing to encourage other organisations from the electricals sector to work with them on esap. More information can be found under

Source: Waste & Resource Action Programme (WRAP)