Shoreditch pop-up pub swaps old tech for pints and food

Spring co-founders James Seear and Tom Williams with model Daisy Lowe at the Trade Inn in Shoreditch.

Spring co-founders James Seear and Tom Williams with model Daisy Lowe at the Trade Inn in Shoreditch. - Credit: Rob Greig

A unique Shoreditch pop-up pub is letting customers pay for pints with old electronics. 

The Trade-Inn is the first pub where punters can pay for food and drink with unwanted tech. 

Its first customer was model and environmentalist Daisy Lowe.

Daisy said: "It’s important that when we’re finished with our old tech, it’s put back into circulation for someone else to use. The Trade-Inn is a fun way of demonstrating the value our old items can still have.

"I traded in my old smartphone and couldn’t be happier to send it off to a new home.”


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The Trade Inn pub has taken over The Prince Arthur in Shoreditch and it's open to the public from October 12-16, including over International E-Waste Day (October 14) which aims to raise awareness about the importance of recycling electrical items responsibly.

The pop-up pub was organised by new tech-recirculation service Sprint, which pays people for their old and unwanted tech. 

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The service then repairs and recirculates old electronic devices like phones, iPods, e-readers and smartwatches, so they can be used again. 

Spring's aim is to help tackle the UK's growing electronic waste problem.

The Global E-waste Monitor report (2020), revealed that the UK generated the second most electrical waste per capita in the world in 2019, second only to Norway. 

The report estimates that Brits accumulate 1.6 million tonnes of tech waste each year.

That means each UK adult produces around 23.9kg in electrical waste each year, the equivalent of eight pints per person. 

Research shows the average UK adult wastes around eight pints worth of electronics each year. 

Research shows the average UK adult wastes around eight pints worth of electronics each year. - Credit: Rob Greig

James Seear, co-founder of Spring, said: “Leaving an unused device in a drawer is as bad as throwing it in the bin. That’s because rather than it being reused by someone else, it’s taken out of circulation and needs to be replaced with something new.

"As the tech in our homes grows, so does a mountain of electronic waste, which is having a catastrophic impact on the environment."

Spring’s kiosk-style recirculation "pod" at the Shoreditch pop-up pub. 

Spring’s kiosk-style recirculation "pod" at the Shoreditch pop-up pub. - Credit: Rob Greig

Visitors at Trade Inn can pay for drinks and food by cashing in devices and any additional funds are credited to customers' accounts to be withdrawn as cash. 

Spring’s kiosk-style recirculation ‘pods’ will be appearing in more supermarkets with some already in London stores.

Find your local Spring pod at www.Spring.co.uk.

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