By the end of this year, it’s predicted the UK will become the world’s largest contributor of e-waste per capita1, with Brits generating over 60,000 tonnes every ‘fortnite’. Currys – the UK’s largest tech retailer and recycler is on a mission to help put an end to e-waste.1

The retailer, supported by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), has launched its first-ever video game, ‘Trash Tycoon’. Created in Fortnite – the popular online gaming platform played by over 18 million Brits including Television Presenter, DJ and avid gamer Tyler West – the free-of-charge virtual experience aims to drive real change from a generation born into tech, by inspiring Gen Z to make better choices when binning unused, unwanted, or even broken tech.

Television Presenter and DJ Tyler West comments: “Trash Tycoon is a game-changer, quite literally. Gaming has definitely been my ultimate escape and go-to 'night in' activity. As a Fortnite fan, it’s refreshing to play a map that addresses real-world issues. It's about time we turn gaming into a force for good - I can't wait to dive in with my squad and see how I can level up my base, whilst recycling tech trash!”

Despite being considered an eco-conscious demographic, new research by Currys found that two-thirds (66%) of young people are more likely to bin their tech trash over recycling and also revealed how:

  • Three in four (75%) currently hoard unwanted tech in their homes, despite having no use for it
  • Over a third (35%) put off recycling e-waste due to a lack of information
  • Nearly a quarter (23%) don’t understand how to dispose of old tech
  • One in four (26%) ‘forget’ to recycle all together2

With a focus on digital natives, the creation of ‘Trash Tycoon’ in Fortnite presents an opportune moment to educate young people about the e-waste issue within a simulated space they’re already engaging in.

The game’s Tycoon map serves as a visual representation of the 880 million unused and broken tech items3 hoarded in UK homes by showcasing a virtual world made entirely of e-waste. The competitive game challenges players to go head-to-head on a mission to mine and recycle as much trash as possible, for valuable in-game and in real life rewards worth over £1,000.

Further Currys research revealed almost half of Gen Z (44%) would be encouraged to recycle more tech if given a cash incentive – which Currys already offers with its wallet-friendly ‘Cash for Trash’ scheme, rewarding customers a £5 voucher for bringing old, unwanted, or broken tech into store for recycling.

Environment Minster Robbie Moore said: “I hope tackling e-waste in the virtual world can help younger generations understand the importance of responsible waste disposal in the real world.

“It’s vital we turn the tide of e-waste, which sees 155,000 tonnes of electrical waste thrown in the bin every year. This is why we have set out new proposals to make it easier for householders to recycle their electrical goods and to spark the move to a more circular economy.”

Moira Thomas, Director of Sustainability at Currys said: “I’m optimistic when it comes to the future of e-waste. As the UK’s largest tech retailer, we know people, particularly Gen Z, want to recycle their old tech, but there is a lack of knowledge of how to do so responsibly. That’s why we’re confident Trash Tycoon will break down barriers, helping people better understand the issue of e-waste, in a language they can relate and take inspiration from through the hugely popular game of Fortnite.”

On average, Currys recycles 60,000 tonnes of e-waste a year, which has resulted in over a million pounds worth of savingsfor its customers. Not only this, Currys offer more industry-leading services to ensure old tech is disposed of in the correct, environmentally friendly way. Our Care & Repair service fixes broken tech, whilst our trade-in service offers customers the chance to upgrade working tech responsibly. In addition, Currys also has the UK’s largest repair lab, based in Newark.

For more information on how you can play Trash Tycoon on Fortnite on a PC, Mac, games console or mobile simply click here.

Compete against other players by collecting tech trash to build your base for a chance to win over £1,000 worth of prizes, players simply need to head to the Currys X/Twitter, (@Currys) for instructions!

1  A study by Uswitch, released Jan 2023​

2 Currys research conducted by OnePoll from a representative sample of 1,000 UK respondents carried out between 22nd – 27th December 2023)



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