Half of the households in the UK contain an unused electronic device according to a study that estimates as many as 40 million smartphones or laptops are currently gathering dust.

The Royal Society of Chemistry commissioned the survey of more than 2,000 people to highlight the scale of still-working but unused gadgets in circulation.

The survey also showed that nearly a third of the people had no idea how to go about recycling their old tech.

Thankfully, Stonehouse-based Lister Unified Communications have the answer thanks to their mobile phone recycling scheme that aimed to find use for old and unwanted business mobiles.

Introduced earlier this year with the aim of recycling old and unwanted handsets, Lister have been delighted with the response of the Gloucestershire business community.

Revenue from the returned mobiles is being donated to county-based homelessness charity Emmaus and, so far, Lister have been “really pleased” with the response from county firms.

Lister Sales manager Simon Gardner said: “We have had about 600 mobile phones back and that has led to around £500 being donated to Emmaus.

“We’ve been really pleased with that businesses have gone out of their way to search high and low to fill up boxes for us.

We’ve had phones donated by Cotswold BMW, Capstone Foster Care, Hallmark meat Hygiene and others.

“It’s such a simple think for a business to do give us a call or email, we arrange to pick up their old phones with the revenue made going to a great charity like Emmaus.”

Picking up the phones has given a fascinating insight into how fashions have changed over the years with the most popular returned handset something of a blast from the past.

“The most popular returns are Nokias,” Mr Gardiner said. “They were once the most popular handset of all. They were longest-lasting because of their rugged, quite simple design.

“People have tended to keep them as a backup in case their smartphones fails as less goes wrong with the basic handsets of old.

“There are also still a small hardcore of people fighting against smartphones, who simply want a phone that makes calls and texts – and has a battery that last for more than a day!

“Doing this has showed us how much fashions have changed over the years, because there was a time when it was best to have the smallest phone, now we want the biggest.

“It can be quite refreshing to have clear-out and remember what we used to proudly carry around and what was the fashion back in the day.

“But, more importantly, that clear-out can also help us make money for a fantastic local charity like Emmaus.”

To arrange for your mobile phones to be collected, contact Lister Unified Communications  on 01453 829200 or e-mail hello@lister-communications.co.uk