E-Waste and the Recycling Industry
In this digital world, electronic waste or e-waste becomes one of the largest waste generators that increase every year with the least amount of recycling process. According to Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE), the estimated amount of e-waste being disposed of is 57.4 million tons by 2021, but only about 17.4% be effectively recycled.
“In Europe, one in seven electronic devices in households ends up in the drawer, because it is unused or broken,” said Pascal Leroy, director general of the WEEE Forum.
Therefore, it is important to recycle e-waste before it rapidly increases in the following years as well as make recycling an accessible option for everyone.
Why Is There So Much E-Waste?
Every year, smartphone vendors produce at least one new product. They also compete to ship more smartphones every quarter. That is just a smartphone. Not to mention, other electronics such as laptops, televisions, or household furniture.
The more new electronic devices are launched, the more people want to buy the products, whether they really need them or just follow the trend. As a result, the old products that are not handled properly become waste that can harm the environment and even affect human health.
Furthermore, the linear economy also becomes one of the causes of e-waste production. In this system, people who buy electronic devices have responsibility for the product. Thus, when the product is unused or broken, it will be disposed of in landfills instead of being recycled.
Because of this phenomenon, the linear economy should be changed into a circular economy. Under the circular model, manufacturers are still responsible for the end-of-life handling of the products they produce.
When a product, whether it is a smartphone, laptop, washing machine, or other electronic device, is no longer in use, it can be returned to the manufacturer.
The unused products will be checked to see the parts or materials that are still functioning so they can be reused, or they will be recycled to become new products.
A ton of smartphones contain more gold so checking for unused products is the best solution.
Recycling is the process of converting waste into new products. This method becomes one key component of waste management and reduction which has a purpose for environmental sustainability. Recycled products have great value and are useful for everyday life, both for the community and the company.
Recycling can reduce the use of raw materials by reusing materials that are still potentially useful. It can decrease the quantity of waste deposited in landfills.
E-waste recycling is defined as the process of reusing or recovering materials from unused electronic devices into new electronic products. This can be the solution to decrease the amount of e-waste in the environment.
Advantages of E-Waste Recycling
There are several advantages or benefits of e-waste recycling.
E-waste recycling prioritizes environmental sustainability. Electronics are made of toxic and hazardous materials such as lead, cadmium, mercury, and beryllium. If e-waste is disposed of, all the substances contained could negatively affect the atmosphere, the soil, and the water so that it becomes pollution.
Reduce the use of natural resources
E-waste recycling helps recover potentially valuable and useful materials from electronic products that are either old or no longer used. Thus, electronic manufacturers can obtain raw materials from recycled waste which can reduce the use of new natural resources.
This process can save and conserve natural resources and the environment.
E-waste recycling is creating new jobs for the recycling industry. For example, people who are professional recyclers can have the opportunity to get jobs in a related industry. Moreover, it has created a new market where recycled materials are the primary commodity.
Beneko: Save Money and Save the Environment
Beneko is a marketplace that implements and focuses on the circular economy. Therefore, every electronic product that Beneko sells can be returned to be resold as second-hand or recycled to be a new product.
By joining Beneko and paying the monthly fee, customers can save more money from buying electronic devices. It is because the customers actually only pay for the difference in cost between the new product and the resale price of the second-hand product.
Moreover, customers also can take part in protecting the environment because the electronic products that they buy will not become e-waste. In addition, Beneko also supports green projects that aim to create a cleaner and greener environment in which the customers indirectly be part of the supporters.
Partners for Recycling
Northvolt, founded in 2017, is a company with the mission to build the world’s greenest battery to enable the European transition to renewable energy. As of March 2018, Northvolt’s cell design team delivers its first test cell through collaboration with external partners in Japan. Surpassing 100 employees, Northvolt represents over 30 different nationalities. As of November 2021, Northvolt produces its first battery cell with 100% recycled nickel, manganese and cobalt and announces plans to expand recycling at Revolt Ett to 125,000 tons/year. Northvolt keeps growing in the battery business and delivers batteries with an 80% lower carbon footprint compared to those made using coal energy.
Partners for buyback & trade
In 2020, Reconext is announced as the combined identity of the new company with a mission to deliver solutions that enable the customers to meet their objectives by optimizing the value of returned electronic devices with the goal of 100% reuse of all materials. Reconext accomplishes this through continuous innovation in repair, remanufacturing, refurbishment, reclamation and remarketing technologies. As of 2022, Reconext is able to process 30 million items annually.
Tech Data, founded in 1974, is the leading end-to-end distributor of technology products, services and solutions around the world. As of September 2021, Tech Data completed a merger with Synnex. This merger created a new company with $59.8 billion in revenue, TD Synnex and became the largest IT distributor.
Back Market is the marketplace for renewed devices with a mission to fight e-waste by giving expertly restored devices a second life. On the Back Market, every device has been checked and restored by experts; thus, the customers can buy like-new devices with second-hand prices. Furthermore, the customers also can sell their old devices to be recycled by Back Market.
Swappie, founded in 2016 by Sami Marttinen and Jiri Heinonen, is an online marketplace in Europe for buying and selling refurbished iPhones. All iPhones that Swappie sells will work like new because the experts have put them through an extensive 52-step testing and refurbishment process. This entire end-to-end process of buying and selling refurbished iPhones has attracted over 1 million happy customers.
Rebuy is a marketplace in Europe that sells and buys used electronics. Rebuy uses state-of-the-art processes to refurbish used products to the highest standards. Since they do every step of the process themselves, they guarantee the best quality—every time. Each week, Rebuy brings 900 phones, 500 consoles, 200 headphones, and 300 cameras back to life which have passed three important steps such as preparation, grading test, and post-processing. As of 2022, Rebuy has reached more than 5 million customers.
Refurbed is a marketplace for renewed products in German-speaking countries. Refurbed offers the customers refurbished electronic devices that always work like new. Compared to new devices, refurbishing produces 70% less CO₂, and Refurbed compensates for the remaining 30% by planting a tree for each purchase. All refurbished devices are renewed, refurbished and strictly checked by experts.
Flip.ro, founded in 2019 by Alin Luca, Alex Burghelia and George Moroianu, is a marketplace for selling and buying second-hand phones. Flip.ro has a goal to make the internet a simpler place for sellers & safer for buyers of second-hand mobile phones. Until now, Flip.ro has paid over 5,000,000 euros to people who sold their phones through the platform, and over 120,000 buyers have safely purchased Second-Hand & Refurbished phones.
Rejoy, founded in 2019 by Alin Luca, Alex Burghelia and George Moroianu, is a marketplace for selling and buying used and refurbished electronic devices. It has a mission to revolutionize how people buy new or say goodbye to their previous smartphones.
musigMagpie is a marketplace for selling our unwanted Mobile Phone, Tech, CDs, DVDs, Games and Books. To sell mobile phones and tech, simply select the make, model and condition of the customer item and musigMagpie tell the customer how much it’s worth. musigMagpie has paid hundreds of millions to customers.
Mazuma mobile is part of the EcoRenew Group that sells and buys used mobile phones. Mazuma helps unwanted, rejected, broken, second-hand, and even new but unfashionable mobile phones find the right buyers. Until now, Mazuma has sold on average, in excess of 15,000 mobiles per month.
Genuine Solutions, founded in 2005, is a provider of genuine technology products specializing in serving independent retailers, e-tailers, wholesalers and the tech repair sector. It recovers mobile accessories and smart devices world-wide and makes unwanted mobile technology fit for purpose for reuse again and extend its life. Until now, Genuine Solutions has recovered over 3,000,000 units a year and have stopped over 9,000 tonnes going into landfill.
Foxway, founded in 2009, is a tech company that focuses on buying and selling used mobile phones and computers by adding value and giving them a second chance. Foxway partners with businesses globally to deliver supply chain and buyback solutions, allowing businesses to easily achieve compliance, access the value of their returned or waste electronics, and outsource supply chain management and logistics.
Technology Recycle Group is a company that focuses on increasing the efficiency and scalability of our partners, no matter if they are start-ups, established or international mega-corporations. It processes thousands of devices each month for its partners and has been doing so for a number of years.
RE is a company with a mission to give back to the planet by REthinking the way people buy, sell and trade-up their smartphones. With the RE kiosk, the customers can get cash for their old smartphone or trade it up to a refurbished one by paying the difference.
ReWare, founded in 2015, is a marketplace that provides products and services designed to promote the circular economy. It is an expert wholesaler in the market of refurbished smartphones and tablets. Until now, ReWare has resold more than 20,000 mobile phones and saved 2,000 tons of CO2 and 30 tons of scrap metal.
Pandas, founded in 2020, is a company with a mission to give consumers the most value out of their smartphone with zero hassle by empowering them to sell it in the fastest, safest, and easiest way possible. Pandas works with trusted partners, including tech retailers, telcos, and supermarket chains to make sure everyone can sell their smartphone in the most easy, fast and safe way. Customers can trade in their devices either from home or at one of our partner stores.
Recommerce Group, founded in 2009, is a marketplace for buyback, refurbishment and sales of high-tech products, and especially smartphones. It offers one of the largest panels of second hand phones with a quality of services equivalent to new smartphones and has developed new product categories (laptops, tablets, smartwatches, game consoles). Since 2009, Recommerce Group has taken back, recycled or reconditioned 4,200,000 phones.
TMX Mobile Solution, founded in 1997, is a multi-brand, mobile device after-sales service provider. TMX is a B2B mobile device repair center located in Hungary repairing over 1,000 devices at nearly 150 workstations daily.
mySWOOOP, founded in 2011, is a cross-channel re-commerce company running a website as well as own offline stores and more than 300 franchise partners. Since mySWOOOP buys and sells not anymore required products, its service allows consumers as well as companies to sell their stuff in the fastest and most convenient ways possible.
Reflow Hub, founded in 2018, is a global supply chain platform that enables the management and liquidation of used mobile devices. Its software technology streamlines the inventory disposition remarketing process undertaken by enterprise clients. Returned stock from various programs including trade-in or buyback, extended warranty and insurance, excess and obsolete, and returns reverse logistics.
GoodBuyTech is a platform for selling used devices. It works like this: after registering used devices, the user packs the devices and sends them to the platform address, and after that the payment will be transferred to the user bank account.
WIRKAUFENS, founded in 2008 by Christian Wolf, is a platform for buying and selling used electronic devices. It remanufactures and reuses used but perfectly working electronics which are then resold to the right buyers. It works like this: after receiving and checking users’ devices, WIRKAUFENS will transfer the agreed amount after 3-5 days.
asgoodasnew, founded in 2008, is a company for buying and selling refurbished high-tech devices. Its aim is to refurbish devices in a sustainable way, so that the quality does not differ from the quality of new products. It works like this: after companies and private individuals have sent in their devices, asgoodasnew begins the professional refurbishment in its workshop in Frankfurt (Oder). After the complete refurbishment and testing of the electronic components, they are put back on the market for a new life cycle.
Accoil Recycling is a provider of recycling and re-commerce solutions for handheld electronic devices. Around 95% of the traded-in devices Accoil Recycling handles are processed, graded and re-sold. The remaining 5% that cannot be restored are fully recycled, leading to minimal waste.
ZOXS, founded in 1998 by Olaf Simmer, is a re-commerce company that buys and sells used devices online. It is buying used devices, putting them through their paces, cleaning them, preparing them (refurbishing) and then selling them in its online shop.
Grover is a platform for renting all the best tech for a monthly price. It works like this: the users choose the tech they want to rent, select how many months, make a payment for the first month, and then use the product freely.
Reboxed, founded in 2019, is a re-commerce company with a mission to save hundreds of millions of used devices and transform buying and selling tech for better.
Pospy is a marketplace for buying and selling refurbished electronics at a fair price. Its electronics are refurbished and recycled whenever possible. Making conscious luxury accessible to everyone.
Dipli, founded in 2017, is the digital and fully integrated supply chain dedicated to second hand electronics. Until 2021, Dipli has resold more than 97,976 products.
mobileup, founded in 2019, is a marketplace for selling and buying second hand phones with a mission to promote the circular economy in Switzerland and to give every device a second life. It offers a wide range of devices that it has purchased itself and through partners, so that the customers can find the right device.
Revendo, founded in 2013, is a marketplace with a concept focused on the reuse of electronic products in order to strengthen sustainable use and keep the devices in circulation longer through upgrading, repairs and holistic customer care across Europe.
greendevice is a company that provides a service to refurbish devices either it is a smartphone, laptop or tablet, and give it a new life. It has a goal to make its customers’ world smarter, more digital, more sustainable and faster by optimizing the entire mobile IT.
everphone, founded in 2016, is a one-stop solution for company cell phones. It offers a rental model for smartphones and tablets, a quick exchange service and the integration of MDM solutions with all devices rented through the platform. everphone’s business model saves companies around 60 kg of CO2 for each device rented, doubling the average device lifetime and returning more than 95% of raw materials into the production process.
Likewize, founded in 2021, is a company that offers the most comprehensive protection against any technology disruption. Whether a device is lost, stolen, damaged, malfunctioning, in need of an upgrade or the user does not know how to do something, Likewize provides the solution. It operates in over 30 countries, resolving 250 million problems each year across insurance, warranty, repairs, trade-ins, recycling and premium tech support.
CircularX, founded in 2021, is a SaaS technological platform allowing retailers and brands to create an omnichannel second life offer to capture the value of the second-hand market, acquire and retain their customers while adopting a sustainability approach. It provides a white label solution to manage the recovery, refurbishment and resale of products of all categories, including web and store interfaces, dynamic pricing tools and many features. CircularX is a solution from Recommerce Group, a pioneer and leader for 12 years in the second life of high-tech products.
rebolet is a platform that can help retailers sell their return or overstock products directly to consumers, cutting out all middlemen and increasing recovery value for retailers, while giving consumers great deals and reducing environmental waste.
Recomm, founded in 2017, is a marketplace for used phones, tablets, computers and other electronic devices. It supports the circular economy and environment by providing buyback programmes and device repair/refurbishment that help minimize e-waste and ensure as many devices as possible get back into circulation.
SWAP, founded in 2019, is the combination of e-commerce and re-commerce marketplace in Bangladesh where customers can purchase anything by personalized orders as well as sell their unneeded/surplus products such as smartphones, laptops, appliances, vehicles, etc.
Reebelo, founded in 2019, is a marketplace for pre-loved tech devices. Its vision is to reduce e-waste by building a circular economy for refurbished electronics. While doing so, Reebelo enabled consumers to save up to 70% on their favorite brands and flexibly rent devices instead of buying them. It has offices in San Mateo (USA), Singapore, Melbourne, Seoul, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur & Auckland.
UREFAS is the association representing the electronics refurbishment industry in Europe, to promote the circular economy and help build a greener world. Its primary mission is to engage a dynamic dialogue with European institutions, governments, and the media, to foster the positive impact of our industry both on the extension of the devices lifecycle as well as their affordability.
Right to Repair, founded in 2019, is a campaign from the communities that are aware of repairing products to make them last for longer. It is also representing civil society organizations, repair businesses, community repair initiatives and public institutions that want longer lasting and more repairable products. Its short goal is to give easiest access for individuals to repair products as well as giving access to independent repairers and community repair groups from repairing broken products.