An incredible 57.4 million tonnes of e-waste was produced in 2021, according to the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Forum (WEEE).
The global IT industry produces 272 million laptops every year, with each laptop’s production responsible for an average of 331 kg of CO2.
With pressure to upgrade your devices frequently, many of these devices are thrown away, but they could be reused, bought second hand, or be recycled, but instead many end up in landfill, with human and environmental consequences.
Buying second hand tech can therefore reduce the amount of tech waste going to landfill, and sends a signal to the tech companies that people want devices that last for longer.
What's the difference between second hand and refurbished?
While the terms second hand and refurbished can be used interchangeably, there can be a difference.
According to Which?, a refurbished, or reconditioned, item will usually have been professionally restored by a manufacturer or retailer to the closest it can get to ‘as new’ condition. Refurbished tech often come with warranties.
In contrast, tech items sold as second hand are generally sold ‘as-is’ by their previous owners, and their condition will be far more variable. They may not come with warranties.
We use both terms on this page, but if you want to be more certain of what you're buying, look for refurbished items.