Along with fellow "Cable Guy" Anthony Roberts we visited a specialist metal merchant to learn more about the different grades of cables and what happens to them when recycled.

We were pleased to learn that copper cables get shredded in Ipswich and then repurposed by a local firm.

However, many other metals are sent to China or India for smelting.

The cost of recycling raw materials is one tenth of mining them from source but that is an economic measurement and the carbon impact is seemingly very difficult to assess.

It is cheaper to send residual waste to Sweden to be incinerated than put in the ground in the UK.

Last time I checked there were few volunteers asking for incinerators to be built in their back yards.

It is quite clear the economics is the driver in this and the carbon footprint in terms of travel, petrol and diesel costs aren't factored in.

Perhaps consumer electrical products should be built with longer life expectancies and fewer cables should be issued with new purchases.

After all, how many HDMIs or "threeways" does a guy need?

Darius Laws

Belle Vue Road, Colchester