Research Output

E-waste and sustainability in a changing environment: a behavioural economics approach

  E-waste is the fastest growing waste stream (Sun et al., 2016) due a combination of increase in electronic product shipments and stagnation of collection and recycling rates, despite having one of the most advanced WEEE legislation and dynamic, open markets for second-hand products.

In 2016, more than 45 million tonnes of e-waste were generated (United Nations, 2017). Mobile and smart phones only weigh a few hundred grams at most and individually they now surpass the number of humans on earth with an estimated 7.2 billion devices in activity (The Independent, 2014). Close to two billion mobile and smart phones were shipped in 2017 and in 2013, smart phone shipments outpaced mobile phones. Whilst sales tend to remain stable, smart phones now represent 75% of mobile shipments from just a fraction in 2008 (Figure 1).

The ubiquitous nature of electronic handsets contributes to high ownership levels, and this contributes to a “hoarding” behaviour. Silveira and Chang (2010) evaluated that 50 and 90 million devices were stockpiled worldwide.

  • Date:

    30 November 2019

  • Publication Status:

    Published

  • Publisher

    Routledge

  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded

Citation

Pierron, X. (2019). E-waste and sustainability in a changing environment: a behavioural economics approach. In Sustainable Economy and Emerging Markets(1). London: Taylor & Francis (Routledge)

Authors

Keywords

circular economy, sustainability

Monthly Views:

Available Documents