Consumers want less devices and more WEEE recycling
A survey carried out by Greenpeace suggests that worldwide consumers would prefer manufacturers to release fewer phone models and improve their end-of-life product recycling services.
Greenpeace consulted 6,000 people between the ages of 16-75 throughout Germany, Russia, China, South Korea, Mexico and the U.S., to find out consumer behaviour and feeling towards mobile phones and the manufacturers who produce them and to discover how much people know about end-of-life product recycling.
According to the survey, consumers are becoming disillusioned by the constant upgrading options presented to them by mobile phone producers, such as Apple and Samsung.
Over half of the 6,000 people surveyed would prefer producers to release fewer mobile phones, as over a third of those surveyed said that their latest mobile phone purchase was made due to the desire to be ‘up-to-date’.
Additionally, consumers would also like to see manufacturers further expand and promote their product recycling schemes, as the average person surveyed possessed three mobile phones, some of which were no longer operating or being used.
As the global phone market grows, those involved in the waste recycling industry are experiencing difficulties as technology develops in ways which make recycling more troublesome.
According to Dr. Tjerk Wardenaar, from the European Union’s NEW_InnoNet project, the WEEE industry is struggling to recover the increasingly smaller components and minuscule amounts of materials from the devices. However, even these efforts are being marred by the consumerism culture that is encouraged by manufacturers.
The majority of those surveyed by Greenpeace believe that it is the moral duty of a manufacturer to take responsibility for the afterlife of the products they release onto the market. Despite this, only 9 per cent of Germans have had a broken phone repaired by a manufacturer.
Greenpeace are now calling on manufacturers across the globe to design a phone that is “truly innovative” in its approach to recycling and the environment.
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