A new report identifies data security concerns as a major barrier to more recycling and claims there is growing interest in electronics take-back programs in the United Kingdom.
The analysis, titled “Switched on to Value: Powering Business Change,” urges electronics manufacturers to take steps to increase device recycling and reuse.
Authored by the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), the report states there is a rising demand for electrical and electronic devices (EEE), but cautions the manufacturing industry must take steps to remain viable and profitable. Device recycling will become essential as demand increases and virgin resources diminish, and WRAP offers some tips on how the industry can promote more recovery.
The report identifies current concerns over data security as a large barrier to increased device recovery. More than 60 percent of U.K. consumers currently have unused electronics in their households, WRAP states, and two-thirds of customers are concerned about the personal data stored on their old devices.
“This is where brands, with their influence on product design, and retailers with their customer facing position, are uniquely placed to lead on the issue of data eradication and data security,” WRAP writes.
WRAP also reported 83 percent of households are interested in take-back arrangements as a convenient way to recycle electronics. WRAP suggests stewardship programs that can be implemented “through incentives or financial arrangements.”
The U.K. nonprofit organization, which published a similar report in 2014, is ultimately working to support its electrical and electronic equipment sustainability action plan 2025 (ESAP 2025), which aims to connect the different players in the supply chain to increase sustainability within the industry.
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