IGPN - International Green Purchasing Network


News

Archives

2020
01  
2019
01   03   04   05   06   08   10   11   12  
2017
01   02   03  
2016
01   02   03   04   05   06   07   08   09   10   11   12  
2015
01   02   03   04   05   06   07   08   09   10   11   12  
2014
01   02   03   06   07   08   09   10   11   12  
2013
01   02   03   04   05   06   07   08   09   10   11  
2012
01   02   03   04   05   06   07   08   09   10   11   12  
2011
01   02   03   04   05   06   07   08   09   10   11   12  
2010
01   02   03   04   05   07   08   09   10   11   12  
2009
01   02   03   05   06   07   08   10   11   12  
2008
01   03   04   07   08   09   10   11   12  
2007
02   03   04   05   06   07   08   09   10  
2006
02   03   04   05   06   07   08   09   10   11   12  
2005
06   07   09   10   11  

Categories

A circular economy for mobile phones: study recommends improved waste collection and longer lifespans for handsets

September 16, 2016

A circular economy for mobile phones: study recommends improved waste collection and longer lifespans for handsets

Around 50% of gold in used mobile phones is not recovered for future use, a new study finds. The researchers suggest that a global circular economy in mobile phones could be created by improving recycling of precious metals in phones in developing countries, as well as increasing the lifespan of phones and improving collection after use. These changes will reduce pressures on nonrenewable resources and close ‘metal flow loops’.

An ever-increasing amount of waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE or e-waste) is discarded by consumers around the world. Mobile phones make up a substantial amount of that waste, driven by consumer demand for the latest technological innovations and products that are designed to have a limited lifespan. Mobile phones, like other electronic equipment, contain valuable and non-renewable resources including gold, copper, silver and palladium.

In a circular economy, the aim is to reduce waste to a minimum and keep precious resources within a loop, that is, to keep them available for repeated reuse. Ways to keep materials in the loop include reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling products when they reach their end-of-life. Developing a circular economy is central to the EU’s plan for sustainable consumption and production and the basis of the EU Action Plan for the Circular Economy.

In this study, partly funded by the European Commission, the researchers modelled the stocks and flows of gold (representing a phone’s valuable metal content) in the world’s mobile phones to assess how to reduce losses of gold from the loop and help contribute to a circular economy. Gold comprises around 80% of the economic worth of valuable metals in mobile phones and its recovery is the main economic driver for recycling phones.

Read more at "Science for Environment Policy": European Commission DG Environment News Alert Service, edited by SCU, The University of the West of England, Bristol.

category : Topics


Focus on

Information

IGPN Events