Lovehoney recycles like rabbits

Written by: RWW | Published:

A reward scheme to encourage people to recycle their old sex toys has been so successful that it’s been extended to all types of small electrical equipment.

A reward scheme to encourage people to recycle their old sex toys has been so successful that it’s been extended to all types of small electrical equipment.

RWW first covered the ‘Rabbit Amnesty’ loyalty scheme six years ago. It was introduced when new EU rules were introduced to divert more waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) away from landfill. This, of course, included some sex toys.

Rather than have their customers turn up at recycling centres with a bag of vibrators and an embarrassed look, Lovehoney encouraged its customers to send back their old ‘bedroom equipment’ in return for a discount on their next purchase. 

A £1 donation to the World Land Trust was also made for each sex toy recycled, with each £100 funding an acre of tree planting. Speaking to RWW this week, Lovehoney revealed that it now recycles some 10,000 sex toys a year through its waste partner Sweeep.

In fact, demand has been so high that the company has had to halve its donations to 50p per toy, and extend the scheme to cover all small WEEE, including toasters and mobile phones. 

“The Amnesty was an immediate success,” said Lovehoney co-founder Neal Slateford. “We now recycle around 4,000kg of electrical goods a year - 90% of which are sex toys. A sex toy weighs an average of 400 grams, so that is around 10,000 items a year.”

He added: “We make sure each item is responsibly recycled through the Sweeep scheme and each toy recycled helps in the replanting of the rain forests.”

The EU WEEE Directive came into full force in the UK on 1 July, 2007. The aim of the legislation is to reduce the amount of electronic waste from homes and businesses that end up in landfill. The government is currently considering changes to the WEEE system in the UK with an announcement expected this Autumn.


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