Circular consumer electronics: getting it right from design to consumption

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Consumer electronics, computers, laptops, TVs, tablets, gaming consoles, wearables, cameras etc., have become an essential part of our daily lives, with smartphones representing most retail sales. In the context of increased digitalisation, our reliance on these devices is likely to increase. At the same time, new purchasing behaviours have emerged, shifting main stakeholders' roles and responsibilities:

  • The dominance of non-EU players questions the current setting of take-back schemes in place in the EU.
  • The blurrier lines as some manufacturers sell directly to consumers.
  • The responsibilities distribution between the manufacturers and the retailers to provide warranty and repair services become unclear.

The Circular Economy Action Plan points to electronics and ICTs as vital energy-intensive products with a high circularity potential in the European context.
But, how to address the critical environmental, societal and behavioural challenges to reduce their overall impact in the coming years? How to define the clear responsibility and opportunity of each actor when their roles are constantly changing?

EuroCommerce, the Collaborating Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production (CSCP), the European Environment Agency and the ECESP are organising this #EUCircularTalks on 19 October at 11:00 CEST as part of the series from the Leadership group on Consumer, retailers and Skills to frame the role and responsibility of electronic retailers to support the circular economy. Our speakers will discuss the upcoming proposal for circular electronics, assessing each actor's responsibilities to their potential.

Draft programme

Moderator: Isabelle Maurizi

11:00 - 11:10 Introductory speech

  • Tiina Vyyryläinen, EESC member

11:10 - 11:20 Setting the scene: influencing upstream : how to make electronics more circular ?

  • Paulo Da Silva Lemos, DG ENV

11:20 - 11:40 Panel 1: Market perspective - Making electronics circular: what is needed from and of the private sector: upscaling good practices

  • Davide Rossi, European Consumer Electronics Retail Council
  • Manfred Fahrner, European Electronics Recyclers Association (EERA)
  • Gabriella Fiorentino, ENEA
  • Q&A

11:40 - 12:20 Panel 2: Needed skills: How to enable and to engage consumers on circularity?

Moderator: Michael Kuhndt, Collaborating Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production (CSCP)

  • Juan Calero, EEA
  • Imke Schmidt, cscp
  • Milena Bigatto, HIT - Hub Innovazione Trentino - Fondazione
  • Ana Maria Jaime Salcedo, MediaMarktSaturn Retail Group

12:20 - 12:30 Conclusions and closing remarks