Consumer Sentiment to Buying Refurbished Report 2023
Sustainability has surged up the agenda in recent years with consumers and businesses becoming more environmentally conscious, as a result of dramatic weather conditions, climate change, and pressure from government and leading scientists.
Every single person and business have a part to play in improving business practices and consumption habits, including the consumer electronics industry. The global electronics industry accounts for roughly 4% of total greenhouse gas emissions. The persistent innovation ingrained into the tech industry means that it is one of the leading contributors to global carbon emissions. In addition to this, the industry is creating a growing mountain of electronic waste (e-waste). In 2022, the UK produced the second highest amount of e-waste in the world, and only 17% of it is recycled globally. It is the world’s fastest growing waste type and it’s forecasted to increase by as much as 30% by 2030.
It's immediately apparent that the consumer electronics industry has a problem and has an urgent need to become more circular, making better use of the materials it relies on. Every step of an electronic device’s lifecycle, from mining the finite and precious metals used in their circuit boards, to product production, manufacturing, worldwide shipping, charging and them powering-up, and the eventual disposal, has a detrimental impact on the environment.
Consumer electronics manufacturers and retailers must take a more circular approach to their practices, repairing damaged or defective goods, refurbishing pre-used items and recycling those that have come to the end of their useful life. At the same time businesses need to convince consumers that refurbished and repaired electronics are as good as brand-new items, and stimulate demand for them to make it financially viable to restore the goods.
We wanted to take a consumer consensus to see just how much work is required and what the next steps are to achieve circularity.