New smartphones on the market encourage old ones to be thrown out, and waste companies are struggling with recycling. Image credit: Flickr/ Fairphone
Each year a new wave of computers, smartphones and accessories swarm the market with smaller components made from increasingly comple
x materials. While this technological evolution may be exciting for consumers, the trend towards obsolescence is impeding our progress towards a zero-waste society, according to researchers working in the area.
The idea of a zero-waste society, also known as a circular economy, is to cut resource use, reduce waste and boost recycling.
At the moment, we live in a so-called linear economy where we dispose of our resources once we’ve finished with them. Adopting a circular economy model would close this wasteful loop and keep materials in use for as long as possible, extracting the maximum value throughout their life and then transforming them into new goods.