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Trending: Consumers Want Fewer Phones, More E-Waste Recycling

August 18, 2016

Trending: Consumers Want Fewer Phones, More E-Waste Recycling

August 18, 2016
by Hannah Furlong

Each year, a new wave of computers, smartphones and accessories spill onto the market with smaller components made from increasingly complex materials. Even as awareness of e-waste has grown and the circular economy has begun to spread its wings, progress is being undermined by a disposable culture in the tech industry.

A new Greenpeace study suggests consumers have had enough. A survey of 6,000 people across the U.S., China, Mexico, Russia, Germany and South Korea revealed that over half of consumers want manufacturers to release fewer phone models and do more to help them recycle their old devices.

Respondents reported they currently owned an average of at least three phones (in use and not in use) – and the average was more than five in Russia and Mexico. More than one third indicated “getting a more up-to-date device” was the reason for their most recent phone purchase, while less than three in ten answered it was because their previous phone was broken or got lost.

With new designs released each year, waste companies are struggling to adapt their sorting technology. Smartphones, for instance, can include up to 50 different types of metal. Similarly, plastics can contain over 25 different compounds, which makes recycling more difficult.

Read more at Sustainable Brands.

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