A qualitative study of which incentives that can be implemented to increase the return-rate of mobile phones for reuse and recycling
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The consumption pattern in the mobile phone industry is not sustainable and electronical waste is one of the fastest-growing streams of waste worldwide. To gain a better understanding of the sustainability challenges of the mobile phone industry this thesis features interviews of three respondents representing the mobile phone supply chain, namely a recycler, a former producer, and a retailer. The respondents highlighted the following barriers: a lack of consumer knowledge, a privacy issue, the need for a backup, a lack of consumer convenience, psychological attachment effects, a consumer desire for the latest technology, an administration cost for the retailers and producers, a decrease in mobile phone value each year, a complicated mobile phone repair process for consumers, and lastly, a CE that do not benefit consumers. A consumer survey is then featured to supplement the findings from the interviews. Moreover, this thesis emphasizes the theory of planned behavior to shed light on the expected effect different incentives will have on consumer behavior regarding reuse and recycling. The researchers then provide two potential solutions based on our findings. Firstly, a leasing model, that would shift the responsibility for the return of used mobile phones from solely to consumers, to retailers or producers and consumers in unison. Secondly, an economic incentive offered at the checkout phase of online shopping that would also serve as a timely reminder for the consumers regarding delivering used mobile phones back. These potential solutions could be economically feasible and lead to an increase in mobile phone reuse and recycling that in the broader picture would move the mobile phone industry towards a more circular direction.