The volume of electronic waste doubles about every six years as technology plays a more significant role in daily life. In 2019, the United Nations estimated that only 17.4% of electronics were recycled. The United States recycled only 9.4% of its e-waste that year. But in Europe, the recycling rate was 42.5% in 2019. There are many ways to improve, and one is the growing market for refurbished technology. Meet James Murdock, founder and chief marketing officer of Alchemy Global Solutions, a trade-in, refurbishing, and remarketing services provider for technology and telecommunications companies. Alchemy also sells refurbished phones, tablets, and laptops at

James Murdock, Founder and Chief Marketing Officer at Alchemy Global Solutions, is our guest on Sustainability in Your Ear.

The constant upgrade cycle for phones, tablets, and laptops keeps people on a wasteful and expensive spending treadmill. According to Statista, the average phone user keeps their phone for about two-and-a-half years, even though manufacturers claim that they make their products to last between six and eight years. Trade-in programs have become a familiar part of our digital life. Like the auto market, where used cars account for 74% of sales annually, a used phone is now considered a smart, sustainable choice. Alchemy, based in Britain, offers services in the U.K., Ireland, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, South Asia, and the United States. The company has refurbished and sold 4.6 million devices since its founding to create a circular market for technology. You can learn more about Alchemy at

Originally aired Dec 4, 2023

By Mitch Ratcliffe

Mitch is the publisher at and Director of Digital Strategy and Innovation at Intentional Futures, an insight-to-impact consultancy in Seattle. A veteran tech journalist, Mitch is passionate about helping people understand sustainability and the impact of their decisions on the planet.