While climate awareness has increased globally, the rising cost of living has made it difficult to consistently pick the more sustainable, but often more expensive, purchasing options. To help combat these issues, Uswitch.com, the UK-based price comparison service and switching website, has partnered with sustainable startup, Raylo, to enable consumers to lease mobile devices and reduce electronic waste.
Uswitch and Raylo recognised the prevalence of the ‘buy-and-dispose’ cycle regarding mobile devices. With the aim of disrupting this, they introduce a new device leasing service, offering customers more flexibility and lower monthly pricing compared to traditional device ownership.
Subscriptions to the new service are available for one, two, or three years, with the option to upgrade to a new phone at the end of each subscription term – and with nothing to pay upfront.
The leasing model could also help reduce electronic waste, making it a suitable solution for tech lovers and sustainable shoppers. At the end of each lease, Raylo refurbishes and reuses the phone. This keeps the devices out of drawers and landfill, extending their lifespan and minimising their impact on the environment.
Electronic waste and ‘device hibernation’
Around 17.4 per cent of e-waste is officially recycled, meaning that over 80 per cent ends up in a landfill. On average, phones are used for 2.3 years and then spend roughly 3.7 years in what Raylo describes as ‘device hibernation’.
During this time, devices are often completely unused and forgotten about, gathering dust in a drawer rather than continuing as useful devices for other individuals. Raylo’s circular model aims to significantly extend a phone’s usage to around six years.
Karl Gilbert, co-founder and CEO of Raylo, commented on the launch: “Our circular leasing model makes sustainable options more accessible, and we’re committed to working with partners like Uswitch to bring our leasing service into the mainstream.”
As prices continue to rise, clever and affordable solutions to help household bills are a welcome option for many.
Ru Bhikha, mobile expert at Uswitch.com, explained how consumers are calling for more flexibility: “We know our customers want more choice and more control over their phone contracts. Combining SIM-only deals with SIM-free phones provides our customers with the flexibility to tailor their device choices to their own circumstances and usage.
“In the current cost of living crisis, our partnership with Raylo helps us offer consumers the chance to switch up their phones to the latest handsets every year – without having to pay top whack.”