• Jamalludin Yousufi
4. Semester, Digital Communication Leadership (Erasmus+) (Master Programme)
Technological development leads to a better life for people; however, producing electrical and electronic equipment in the linear economy (LE) model generates enormous amounts of electronic waste (E-waste) and creates significant environmental problems. Circular economy (CE) is considered an alternative approach to LE to minimize the environmental impact of E-waste. Nevertheless, various factors are essential in the transition toward CE, including digital technologies (DTs). This research aims to explore the impact of digital technologies in the transition towards a CE in E-waste management systems. In addition, this research aims to understand how key non-technological factors such as climate change, policy, social awareness, and market demand impact the transition towards CE in the E-waste management industry. This study used Multi-Level Perspective (MLP) analytical framework to analyze not only the technological but also the interaction of multi-actors in niche and regime and the impact of landscape factors in a sustainable transition. The method is qualitative, and the data was gathered from 10 interviewees, including sustainability experts and actors involved in E-waste management, through semi-structured interviews.
The study discussed the role of DTs in facilitating the adoption of CE principles in E-waste management. The findings suggest that DTs have the potential to enable CE practices in E-waste management but may not serve as the primary driving force in transition. DTs demonstrate the capacity to promote CE principles, including reduce, reuse, and recycling, in the management of E-waste. Moreover, they can enhance stakeholder collaboration, transparency, and business operational efficiency. However, particular challenges were identified, such as limited digitalization and resistance towards DTs adoption within the actors. The research also underscores the impact of various factors on firms' inclination to adopt CE practices, including climate change, policy frameworks, and societal awareness. The Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) directive positively affected collaboration and recycling practices among actors in E-waste management. Nevertheless, lack of policy enforcement, variations in the implementation of EPR in each country, and ambiguity of actor's responsibility in EPR pose challenges to adopting CE. As a result, the study suggests that policy enforcement and enacting policies mandating information sharing among stakeholders may enhance transparency and collaboration in E-waste management practices to adopt CE principles.
Publication date31 Jul 2023
Number of pages134
ID: 544345750