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E-waste not, want not

14 July, 2023

Did you know the UK produces the second highest amount of electrical waste per person in the world (after Norway)? And at the same time, an estimated 1.5 million households are digitally disconnected and have limited access to devices, an issue that is holding back some of the most disadvantaged families in the UK.  

In response to these twin issues, Virgin Media O2 and the environmental charity Hubbub have teamed up to launch the Time After Time fund, a partnership that enables community groups and charities to apply for a share of £500,000 to address the nation’s digital divide and growing e-waste problem. 

With research showing there are more than 19 million unused smartphones and laptops gathering dust in homes and garages across the country, there is certainly plenty of technology that has the potential for a second life with those that most need it. 

The initiative forms part of Virgin Media O2’s sustainability strategy, the Better Connections Plan, and will play a vital role in helping the company reach its goals of supporting people to carry out 10 million circular actions to tackle e-waste by the end of 2025 and connecting 1 million digitally excluded people across the UK through free and affordable connectivity and services.  

So, if you know a charity, social enterprise, local authority, or community organisation running e-waste or digital inclusion initiatives then point them to the Time After Time fund to help turbo-charge their impact. Applications are open now.  

By Alice Railton

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