E-waste tops the sustainability agenda and is one of the recurring talking points when addressing the circular economy. We recently hosted an online seminar on e-waste and invited a group of experts to talk about the issue. To follow-up on the questions received, we decided to let the experts answer your questions in this blog series.

Andreas Rehn, Development Manager at TCO Development, answers questions asked during our webinar How to reverse the growing negative trend of e-waste.

What is the role of the circular economy in reducing e-waste and who is responsible for this?

The role of the circular economy is to increase the amount of post-consumer content in new products, increase the reuse of products, and increase the extent to which products are repaired. Another area that many tend to forget is that the circular economy should also try to find new ways for a product to be used when the initial use case is not possible. We believe that the industry and the user of the product are both responsible for this.

What are your main recommendations for eco-design in products?

There are a couple of things that we should focus on in terms of eco-design. The first one is a no-brainer, and that is the durability of products. Manufacturing products that don’t break when dropped or exposed to the elements is key to extended product life. Second is the performance of a product. If original products have greater functionality, it is much more likely that a second-hand user can be found for the product, which in turn will help drive the switch to more circular solutions. My third recommendation would be to minimize the amount of hazardous substances that go into products. Doing this we will help create cleaner material streams coming from our recycling facilities, but also save lives and the environment when products do not get taken care of responsibly.

Hazardous substances are problematic in e-waste, how do you think this should be tackled?

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