wearable / syda_productions, ShutterstockMore small and difficult-to-recycle wearable electronics are entering the marketplace, presenting future challenges for those attempting to recover them.

A recent report from the International Data Corporation predicts shipments of new wearable electronics will increase 29 percent in 2016, compared with last year. The Framingham, Mass.-based consulting and research company estimates a 20.3 percent compound annual growth rate through 2020 for new shipments of smartwatches, wristbands, digital eyewear, smart clothing and other types of wearables.

That’s not good news for everybody in the e-scrap recycling world.

Carol Baroudi from Arrow Electronics’ value-recovery business wrote in a blog post about the explosion of Internet of Things widgets and a lack of take-back mechanisms.

She called out the “buy buttons,” which allow people to reorder a product with the push of a button. Such technology means batteries will be welded into products.

“To our knowledge, there is no ‘right way’ to handle these gadgets at end of life, or even think about how that would happen,” she wrote.


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