All things have a natural lifecycle, and the technology we use is certainly no different. The average lifecycle of our technology does appear to be particularly short, however, with major brands constantly working to innovate and improve upon existing hardware to stimulate demand and market growth. Without innovation, and the creation of new and improved products, companies risk being left behind in increasingly competitive markets.
High Tech Turnover
The volume of tech devices owned by the average person has skyrocketed in the past decade, with the vast majority of people owning at least one of a smartphone, tablet or wearable device. The turnover of these products has also increased, averaging around 2-3 years. This constant turnover of technology is good news for the bottom lines of the major tech companies, but there are some concerning implications for the environment. The requirement now is for tech companies to show the same level of innovation in reducing the impact of e-waste on the environment as they have in creating new products.
Encouragingly, many companies are taking steps to reduce their e-waste footprint by allowing users to trade-in old devices in return for credit or discounts on future purchases. The sports camera company GoPro, for example, allows users to ‘trade-up’ old cameras in return for a discount of around £100 on a new purchase. GoPro also takes a sustainable approach to recycling, adopting a zero landfill policy in the recycling of old technology.
Similarly, Apple, the world’s largest tech company, have introduced ‘trade-up’; programmes throughout Europe and the US. In return for trading in iPhones, iPads and MacBooks, the user can claim a number of financial incentives, including credit toward a new device in the form of an instalment loan.
The Renewal Programme Opportunity
Despite these initiatives, a recent study by Green Alliance found that on average only 12 percent of smartphone upgrades involve the type of offer provided by Apple, where old devices are traded in for new ones. The result is more phones either lying around the house, or else finding their way into landfill.
There is, therefore an opportunity for manufacturers to partner with IT asset disposal companies to introduce renewal programmes. This will enable the manufacturer to benefit from continued sales, as well as recouping value on recycled devices. Renewal programmes such as this have the potential to reap benefits for all parties concerned, from manufacturers through to recyclers. Crucially, and perhaps most important of all, such a policy also takes positive steps to reduce the volume of e-waste we produce as a society, and the strain this causes to our planet’s ecosystem.
With over 22 years industry experience, EOL IT Services are proud to be the UK’s most accredited ITAD supplier. We possess the skills, accreditations and experience to handle our clients’ data with the care they deserve, and to dispose of it responsibly and legally.
Contact us today on 0845 600 4696 or visit https://www.eolitservices.co.uk/services/it-asset-disposal/ to find out how we can help you dispose of your data safely and reliably.