Press release 2018-03-08

Old electronic products in drawers can be reused

About every other Swede has electronic products they no longer use lying around their home. An equal number admit to junking their unwanted devices, despite them still being fully functional. This is revealed in a survey conducted by Sifo, the Swedish consumer research institute on behalf of Blocket, a leading Swedish online marketplace.

– Most people probably don’t know that the major electronics stores run takeback programmes, where you can return old electronics, both functional and non-functional, for reuse or recycling. It’s a major loss of resources not to reuse all that functional electronic equipment, says Hanna Ljungkvist, project manager at IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute.

Reusing electronics is climate friendly, economical and resource-efficient. A previous study conducted by IVL shows that a mobile phone weighing 169 grams generates 86 kg of waste at the production stage.

In addition to second-hand e-commerce sites, several reputable companies upgrade and sell used electronics on a larger scale, after first deleting any existing content safely, beyond the reach of data retrieval tools. This means that offices, schools and other major businesses can both donate and buy good quality used electronic devices.

This is a central issue for the the ELAN project project, led by Hanna Ljungkvist, that tests various actions designed to give electronic products a new lease of life. These include consumer information, return logistics and custom collection containers. Products that are too old or unsuitable for reuse are to be collected for recycling.

ELAN is funded by the Swedish Energy Agency, Vinnova and Formas under the auspices of Re:source, a strategic innovation programme for the waste management industry. Project participants are IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, Chalmers Industriteknik, Blocket, Elkretsen, Recipo, TCO Development, Samsung, Lenovo, Komplett, Inrego and Elgiganten.

For more information:
Hanna Ljungkvist, hanna.ljungkvist@ivl.se, +46(0)10-788 68 99