According to new research today's youth are giving away their gadgets and gizmos to their parents and grandparents when they upgrade rather than dump them in a landfill somewhere.

The new survey, conducted by electrical retailer Currys, shows a reversal of the hand me down tradition that it says is "creating a generation of grandparents who are plugged in and tooled up for digital living".

According to the retailer, rather than being recycled, sold or disposed of, unwanted technology products are instead being handed up to older members of the family, with research revealing that nearly three quarters (70 per cent) of respondents aged over 55 had recently received a technology product from a younger relative.

Mobile phones are the most popular hand me ups, with almost half (43%) of respondents aged 18–24 passing their old handset up the family tree. MP3 players came second, handed on by almost a quarter (23%) of respondents.

The arrival of gaming consoles such as the Nintendo Wii and Xbox 360 has also led a significant number of grandparents to have a go at gaming with one in ten (12%) of those questioned passing old Nintendos, PlayStations and Xboxes to older relatives.