Electronic waste, or e-waste, is the fastest growing category of waste in developed countries and a threat to the environment and human health. The extension of electronic products life cycles could reduce the use of finite resources, the emission of pollutants, and the amount of waste disposed of in the landfills, delaying the impacts of disposal and product replacement. Consumers’ decisions affect the environmental impact of a product since deliberate consumer effort is necessary to extend and fully explore the potential life cycle of a product. The objective of this article is to investigate current consumer practices in the repair of electronic products. To achieve this goal, we analyze recently published research presenting surveys and case studies about the repair of electronic products. The literature review identified a range of barriers and motivations that influence the decision to repair. We also examined how institutional initiatives to address product reparability, such as governmental directives, are responding to consumer practices. Our results emphasize the need for an environment that promotes and enables more sustainable behaviors. We discuss the necessity to consider not only technical aspects but also intangible aspects in public perception, such as the role of perceived obsolescence in the search for a more circular economy.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors would like to acknowledge the financial support of CNPq (Brazilian National Council for Research).
- Circular Economy
- Consumer practices
- Sustainable design