Major electronics manufacturers this week joined with the Consumer Technology Association to form the Consumer Technology Circularity Initiative, aiming to boost e-scrap processing, improve repair and reuse, and incorporate more recycled content into products.
The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) announced the voluntary initiative during CES 2024, its massive annual consumer electronics conference held this week in Las Vegas. Founding member companies of the Circularity Initiative are Lenovo, LG Electronics, Panasonic, Samsung and Sony Electronics.
CTA says the initiative builds on previous industry-led e-scrap efforts, particularly the eCycling Leadership Initiative. Launched in 2011, this project aimed to increase the amount of electronics processed in the U.S., with a goal of hitting 1 billion pounds by 2016. (CTA reported in this week’s release that more than 5 billion pounds of e-scrap have been processed in the U.S. since 2011.)
The Circularity Initiative marks an increasing focus on other types of asset management.
“Beyond addressing e-scrap collection and recycling, [the Circularity Initiative] addresses climate impacts and product and process innovations for repair, reuse and recycled content, expanding on the EPA’s Waste Management Hierarchy first developed in the 1980s, which led to the ‘3 Rs’ of reduce, reuse, recycle,” CTA said in the announcement.
CTA pointed to a few metrics highlighting the members’ existing efforts in electronics recovery, including that Samsung collects 100 million pounds of consumer e-scrap in the U.S. per year. In its own announcement of the initiative, LG Electronics reported it collected 53 million pounds of e-scrap in the U.S. in 2023, and that those devices were processed by e-Stewards and R2 certified recycling firms.
CTA specified it will “collaborate with third-party validators” to recognize the initiative member companies’ achievements during next year’s CES conference.