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date: 05 June 2020

Abstract and Keywords

The need to progress toward the circular, low-carbon economies that are necessary for sustainable development demands a substantial reduction in the generation of waste. Although the amount of waste arising from the disposal of mobile phones is relatively insubstantial compared to other waste streams, it is problematic, partly due to the complexity of its composition: mobile phones contain many types of material in small quantities. Like other small electrical and electronic items, they have proven hard to recover and recycle cost-effectively. They are often stored for long periods and eventually discarded as residual waste rather than separated for recycling. Most have unduly short active lifetimes because they have not been designed for longevity and their potential for durability, repair, refurbishment, and reuse is not realized. This chapter discusses issues relating to e-waste from discarded mobile phones and explores the prospect of alternative approaches to their production and consumption, exemplified by the case of Fairphone.

Keywords: waste, product lifetime, circular economy, design, Fairphone, durability, repair, refurbishment, reuse, recycling

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