Have you ever had something that you know you don’t need – or even really want – but struggled to get rid of it? You’re not alone – turns out, a whopping 68% of Australians admit that they do the same.
Whether it’s because we place sentimental value on these belongings, or because we’re fearful we’ll miss opportunities to reuse them, 58% of us feel attached to useless items – and the clutter we’re creating as a result is making us stressed.
The study, commissioned by Australia’s government accredited mobile phone recycling program, Mobile Muster, revealed that 89% of us admitted that we would feel happier if we could get rid of our old things.
“Our old things often weigh us down mentally as our things act as reminders of our former selves, which can actually stop people from feeling free and living in the present,” says Mike Kyrios, Professor of Psychology at Flinders University. “Psychology tells us that many of us have an inner conflict between feeling attached to our things because we have spent time using and enjoying them.
“But, when it comes to letting go of them we can struggle as we find it hard to detach ourselves from them – despite knowing that we will feel happier and freer if we let them go.”
Clothes and shoes topped the list of things we are hesitant to get rid of, closely followed by old electronics and mobile phones. With electronic waste growing at three times the rate of general waste in Australia and 25 million old mobile phones stored away in drawers across the country, being able to disconnect from old electronic devices is an issue that needs addressing.
One in three of us struggle to get rid of our old phones because we want to keep it as a back up – but, the study found that 73% of us never actually going back to using it. What’s more, three in four people who have got rid of their old phones admit that they haven’t missed it.
“We know that many people struggle to part ways with their old things because of FOMO (Fear Of Missed Opportunities), even though many of us will never actually use them again,” says Mike. “At this time of year, when people want to do a spring clean and create more space in their homes, it’s the perfect time to flip FOMO on its head and consider the benefits of letting go.”
Reusing or recycling these items is good for our health, our homes and the environment.
“We know that people want to let go of their old things but sometimes need a little extra motivation to help them make the final break,” says Spyro Kalos, Manager of MobileMuster. “That’s why we’ve partnered with the Salvos Stores to encourage more Australians to kick off their spring clean and dig out their old mobile phones for recycling.”
For every mobile phone collected by MobileMuster in September, they’ll give $1 to Salvos Stores to support the great work they do in your local community. Australians can recycle their old mobile phones and accessories at their local Salvos store or drop them off at one of MobileMuster’s 3,500 collection points across the country. Alternatively, they can be posted back to MobileMuster using a free recycling satchel, available at Australia Post or the MobileMuster website.
Everything collected by MobileMuster is recycled for the circular economy. Through the program, 99% of the material from old phones and accessories are recovered and used in manufacturing new products, reducing the need for virgin materials. All the metal, glass and plastic in your mobile phone has the potential for a second life.