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Why do (W)EEE hoard? The effect of consumer behaviour on the release of home entertainment products into the circular economy

Why do (W)EEE hoard? The effect of consumer behaviour on the release of home entertainment products into the circular economy
Why do (W)EEE hoard? The effect of consumer behaviour on the release of home entertainment products into the circular economy
Home entertainment (HE) products are particularly rich in metals and plastics and thus have enormous potential as a source of materials from within Distinct Urban Mines (DUMs). Consumers’ end-of-life (EoL) management decisions (i.e. stockpiling, hoarding, reusing, discarding of WEEE) strongly influence the exploitation potential of a DUM. This study aimed to assess the effect of consumer behaviour on the release of HE (W)EEE into the circular economy. A survey was undertaken in Southampton (Hampshire, UK) to assess perceptions and behaviours relating to the EoL management of HE (W)EEE. The study provides previously unavailable data and critical evaluation on the ownership, use and hoarding levels of HE EEE in a typical city DUM, and the reasons behind their hoarding. Results indicated that ownership levels were very high, with an average of 12 home entertainment items owned per household. This makes urban areas extremely plausible as DUMs; we estimate that there are over 1 million HE devices owned and ~440,000 HE devices hoarded in Southampton and >150 million HE EEE owned and ~61 million HE devices hoarded in UK households. Hoarding is common, especially for smaller or older equipment, due to their perceived residual value. HE product lifecycles averaged 4-5 years. The most common EoL routes were donating to relatives, friends or charities; hoarding; recycling; or discarding items in general refuse. To encourage the recovery of EoL HE equipment: i) convenient and accessible WEEE collection points should be established for regular (periodic) harvesting and ii) promoted via awareness campaigns and incentives.
Waste management, WEEE, behaviour, distinct urban mine, End of life, Circular Economy
18-33
Wilkinson, Ariadne
d14effe4-2940-4be3-8d20-eae2878290ea
Williams, Ian
c9d674ac-ee69-4937-ab43-17e716266e22
Wilkinson, Ariadne
d14effe4-2940-4be3-8d20-eae2878290ea
Williams, Ian
c9d674ac-ee69-4937-ab43-17e716266e22

Wilkinson, Ariadne and Williams, Ian (2020) Why do (W)EEE hoard? The effect of consumer behaviour on the release of home entertainment products into the circular economy. Detritus, 12, 18-33. (doi:10.31025/2611-4135/2020.14004).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Home entertainment (HE) products are particularly rich in metals and plastics and thus have enormous potential as a source of materials from within Distinct Urban Mines (DUMs). Consumers’ end-of-life (EoL) management decisions (i.e. stockpiling, hoarding, reusing, discarding of WEEE) strongly influence the exploitation potential of a DUM. This study aimed to assess the effect of consumer behaviour on the release of HE (W)EEE into the circular economy. A survey was undertaken in Southampton (Hampshire, UK) to assess perceptions and behaviours relating to the EoL management of HE (W)EEE. The study provides previously unavailable data and critical evaluation on the ownership, use and hoarding levels of HE EEE in a typical city DUM, and the reasons behind their hoarding. Results indicated that ownership levels were very high, with an average of 12 home entertainment items owned per household. This makes urban areas extremely plausible as DUMs; we estimate that there are over 1 million HE devices owned and ~440,000 HE devices hoarded in Southampton and >150 million HE EEE owned and ~61 million HE devices hoarded in UK households. Hoarding is common, especially for smaller or older equipment, due to their perceived residual value. HE product lifecycles averaged 4-5 years. The most common EoL routes were donating to relatives, friends or charities; hoarding; recycling; or discarding items in general refuse. To encourage the recovery of EoL HE equipment: i) convenient and accessible WEEE collection points should be established for regular (periodic) harvesting and ii) promoted via awareness campaigns and incentives.

Text
DETRITUS 12-2020_pages 18-33_DJ-20-009 - Version of Record
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 5 May 2020
Published date: 7 September 2020
Keywords: Waste management, WEEE, behaviour, distinct urban mine, End of life, Circular Economy

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 450039
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/450039
PURE UUID: 75390443-a801-4e51-95c0-6d6cb8c187e7
ORCID for Ian Williams: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-0121-1219

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Date deposited: 06 Jul 2021 16:32
Last modified: 10 Jan 2022 02:49

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Contributors

Author: Ariadne Wilkinson
Author: Ian Williams ORCID iD

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