IVL is helping companies and authorities to go from linear to circular processes, without hazardous substances continuing to spread in the cycle. This blog highlights a few examples.

This case is part of the Circular Electronics Day 2021 best practices series. Multiple organizations stand behind this initiative that takes place on January 24 with the aim to encourage organizations and consumers to take a more responsible approach to electronics.

Dr. Jurate Miliute-Plepiene
Expert on circular solutions for electronics and e-waste

Raising awareness of youth and citizens on sustainable electronics consumption

Large amounts of gold, platinum, copper, cobalt and aluminium – to name just a few metals – are buried in landfills or incinerated. Even rare elements like antimony and indium will dry up in a few years if demand continue to grow and no new deposits are found. Today, these metals can be found in all our homes, tucked away in drawers. We need to be better at submitting end-of-life electronics for reuse and recycling. But above all, we must consume in a more responsible way, take proper care of our possessions and not buy new ones as soon as we start to get tired of what we have.

IVL was a part in the international project, E-mining@schools, co-funded within the EU’s EIT RAW Materials program. The aim was to raise knowledge and awareness among students regarding the environmental and ethical considerations and business opportunities related to e-waste and its lifecycle. Educational activities include in-class teaching facilitated by a digital platform. As a part of the project IVL released a popular science book “E-waste and raw materials: from environmental issues to business models”.

Assessing the environmental effects of small electronics and reuse of mobiles

Small electronics especially ICT (such as mobile phones or tablets iPad, laptops) are among the most environmentally-charged consumer products. For instance, a lifecycle of a mobile phone corresponds to ca. 50-100 kg of CO2ekv and the production of a laptop can generate more than 1 ton of waste. Responsible consumption of electronics, such prolonging its time in use including reuse and recycling are essential strategies in reducing the climate and other environmental footprints of this product group.

J. Miliute-Plepiene works as an expert supporting the Government Office of Sweden in ongoing investigations on the opportunities to introduce a national deposit-refund system for small electronics. This work includes analysing the environmental effects of small electronics and its reuse potentials.