In order to secure valuable materials and to establish better circular economy practice, new legislation to promote recycling of small-sized e-waste including used mobile phones started in April 2013, in Japan. In order to consider appropriate methods to reduce material usage in mobile phone production, an examination of appropriate strategies in handling used mobile phone products is warranted. This paper investigates an analysis of material flow model for used mobile phones. Then, by analyzing the model, it tries to find suitable strategies to reduce the material consumption associated with mobile phone production and consumption. Although material recycling is an important strategy in Japan, other waste management options exist. This research indicates which factors are keys in reducing material consumption and CO2 emission, and establishing resource efficient production. The study concludes that “domestic product reuse” and “official recycling networks” are equally good in reducing the consumption of virgin materials associated with mobile phone production. However, in doing so, it is necessary to establish a system in which consumers can properly return their used mobile phones for recycling. Such an end-of-life waste management system can reduce both waste and resource consumption and the environmental impacts associated with increasing mobile phone production. Further research investigating the value of increasing the product reuse rate and the collection return rate for mobile phones is also warranted.
Mishima, K., Rosano, M., Mishima, N., & Nishimura, H. (2016). End-of-Life Strategies for Used Mobile Phones Using Material Flow Modeling. Recycling, 1(1), 122–135. https://doi.org/10.3390/recycling1010122