As consumerism loses favour in the west, people are thinking more about owning less, and how their purchasing habits effect the environment. Savvy businesses are getting wise to this change and asking ‘what is circular industry?’.
A circular industry (or economy) is an alternative to the traditional linear economy of make, use, dispose. In a circular economy, resources are kept in use for as long as possible to extract the maximum value from them, and then products are recovered and regenerated at the end of each service life to be used again.
This model not only creates new opportunities for growth, but also reduces waste, drives greater resource productivity, delivers a more competitive economy, positions the world to better address emerging resource scarcity issues and helps reduce the environmental impacts of production and consumption.
At MobiCode, we support the circular economy by developing the software tools that businesses need to refurbish second-hand mobile phones and other used electronics.
The increase in electronic waste or e-waste is one of the most pressing environmental concerns of today. Research shows that around 90% of electrical products sold in the UK are brand new, despite more than half of UK households owning at least one unused product. This means that around 2 million tonnes of new electronic equipment enters the UK market each year, and over 1.5 million tonnes of electronic waste is generated annually. Nowhere is the case for a circular economy more pressing than in the consumer electronics industry.
However, there are significant barriers to the re-use of electrical products ranging from a ‘desire to buy new’, concerns around data privacy and the perceived quality of buying a used product.
But the potential for businesses to profit from the untapped market for used and electronic products is vast. Research shows that up to 50% of customers say they would be willing to purchase a used product, provided it was of good quality and professionally refurbished.
The key to meeting this challenge head on is understanding the customer, their behaviour and the individual decisions they make throughout the lifecycle of the products they purchase.
It’s up to businesses to promote the idea of electronic re-use. Innovative businesses models that promote product take back, like the Argos Gadget Trade In scheme or the CeX retail model are successful examples of this, and research shows that 83% of UK households would be interested in these types of business models.
At MobiCode, we promote environmental awareness and re-use to tackle the growing e-waste problem by developing software that allows for the robust refurbishment of mobile phone devices. From safe, secure GDPR compliant data-erasure with MobiWIPE, to efficient and full functionality testing with MobiTEST, our comprehensive suite of solutions have been designed for businesses in the second-hand mobile phone industry.
If you’re a recycler or retailer interested in mobile phone refurbishment, or if you’re a business looking to get the most from your used electronics stock, speak to MobiCode today.