Closing the Loop on E-waste: A Multidisciplinary Perspective

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  2. Dr Ben Bridgens
Author(s)Bridgens B, Hobson K, Lilley D, Lee J, Scott JL, Wilson GT
Publication type Article
JournalJournal of Industrial Ecology
IssueePub ahead of Print
ISSN (print)1088-1980
ISSN (electronic)1530-9290
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This paper discusses the challenges faced, and opportunities identified, by a multidisciplinary team of researchers developing a closed loop system to recover valuable metals and reduce e-waste, focussing on mobile phones as a case study. The aim of the research presented here is to develop a Product Service System (PSS) that facilitates the recovery of valuable functional components and metals from mobile phone circuit boards. To create an holistic solution and limit unintended consequences, the project outlined in this paper examines appropriate component lifetimes; the (often ignored) role of the citizen in the circular economy; customer interaction with the PSS; environmental Life Cycle Analysis; and social impacts of the proposed PSS. Development of enabling technologies is described, as this facilitates recovery of components and metals, and provides an ‘emotionally durable’ external enclosure. This research also highlights the importance of understanding ‘value’ in the circular economy from a multi-faceted and inter-disciplinary perspective.
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons, Inc
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