In the last few years, there has been a sharp increase in the consumption of commodities with a short life-cycle. This is especially true for electronic equipment, such as mobile phones which are the object of this paper. The short life-cycle, due to the continually substituting of obsolete equipment with new more and more innovative models, has stimulated the growth in sales of electronic goods. This non-stop technological progress, however, has also led to an increased quantity of “electronic waste”. The environmental impact, which is difficult to quantify, is compounded by the rising consumption of resources (such as energy, water and chemical substances) above all in the first steps of the manufacturing process. Contrary to popular thought, the smaller size of mobile phones actually corresponds to a greater material base. Moreover, the very lack of homogeneity of the materials and components in the mobile phones makes it more difficult to recycle them. This issue is very important for the European Union, which has passed some WEEE directives to boost the recovery and the recycling of electronic devices. The main goal of this paper is the analysis of the quantity and the quality of the materials of mobile phones and to identify the flows in their end-of-life phase. This type of study may provide clear and detailed information to help define more effective waste management and to promote adequate product policy.

Electronic waste: Mobile phones case study / PAIANO A; LAGIOIA G; T. GALLUCCI. - In: JOURNAL OF COMMODITY SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND QUALITY. - ISSN 1971-4483. - 45(2006), pp. 55-66.

Electronic waste: Mobile phones case study

PAIANO, ANNARITA;LAGIOIA, Giovanni;
2006

Abstract

In the last few years, there has been a sharp increase in the consumption of commodities with a short life-cycle. This is especially true for electronic equipment, such as mobile phones which are the object of this paper. The short life-cycle, due to the continually substituting of obsolete equipment with new more and more innovative models, has stimulated the growth in sales of electronic goods. This non-stop technological progress, however, has also led to an increased quantity of “electronic waste”. The environmental impact, which is difficult to quantify, is compounded by the rising consumption of resources (such as energy, water and chemical substances) above all in the first steps of the manufacturing process. Contrary to popular thought, the smaller size of mobile phones actually corresponds to a greater material base. Moreover, the very lack of homogeneity of the materials and components in the mobile phones makes it more difficult to recycle them. This issue is very important for the European Union, which has passed some WEEE directives to boost the recovery and the recycling of electronic devices. The main goal of this paper is the analysis of the quantity and the quality of the materials of mobile phones and to identify the flows in their end-of-life phase. This type of study may provide clear and detailed information to help define more effective waste management and to promote adequate product policy.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11586/128306
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