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Error: cannot recycle these electronics

Author:Zhengyang MachineryTimes:2019-08-26
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Australia will be home to around 12 million tonnes of e-scrap next year. In fact, research shows this waste stream is growing three times faster than any other.

Researchers from Monash University found people find it hard to say goodbye to their old electronics because they have ‘strong emotional attachments’ to them. Across three studies with 650 people, frugality was cited as the second recycling obstacle. After all, electronics don’t come cheap.

In fact, at least 50% of the study participants say they own one or two computers. In some cases (16%), people have four or more computers at home. On average, people tend to hold onto old computers for over six years.

Lead author Dayna Simpson says today’s consumers are forming a personal relationship with their handheld devices, notably mobile phones. ‘We use them every day and take them everywhere with us,’ she notes. ‘Besides, we store a lot of data on them and we get quite familiar with them.’

The latter can also be said about ‘smart’ equipment that can be easily tailored to understand the preferences of their users. It’s interesting to note that upwards of 86.2 million smart speakers were sold worldwide in 2018. What’s more; China will be home to 85.5 million smart speaker users this year, surpassing the 74.2 million sold in the US.

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