Will the Pandemic Promote the Use of Refurbished Electronics?

The demand for electronic goods has been on an upward trend over the last several months, and with good reason. Millions worldwide have switched to the work-from-home model, and digital classrooms have emerged as the new normal.

A recent report from the NDP Group revealed that the first two weeks of March in the US doubled the sales of computer monitors, and the overall demand for keyboards, mice, and laptops increased by 10%.

Increased demand sounds like a positive development for manufacturers, sure. But those promoting the circular business model are hopeful about this pandemic-related trend.

But as the world’s supply chains are crippled, manufacturers are fighting to keep up. And this means exploring alternative options, like using refurbished components, when supply can’t meet demand.

Is Circular Economy The Way To Go?

The world creates around 50 million tons of electronic waste every year, equivalent to throwing away 1,000 laptops every second. That’s a lot of plastic and electronics ending up in landfills and overcrowded waste disposal facilities. But it might surprise you to learn that using refurbished goods is not a popular concept for most of us.

Thankfully, the European Union proposed a new Circular Economy Action Plan in March to ensure the optimum use of available resources. But there’s still a lot more to be done to see visible results.

According to one report, the world population discarded 49 million tons of e-waste in 2016, equivalent to tossing out 4,500 Eiffel towers. And it’s predicted that this figure will hit 57 million tons by 2021.

That’s where the pandemic comes in. As the economy around the world slows down, most of us don’t want to spend much. People want to save their money during tough times like this. And if they can choose between a new or old device, they’re more likely to see what the old or refurbished product has to offer.

Students, in particular, are willing to buy and use refurbished products. Many students happily opt for refurbished products if they have all the required specifications, come with a solid warranty, and are available for a reasonable price.

Things are looking favorable for the circular economy model, but it’s yet to be seen how things unfold in the near future. COVID-19 is indeed promoting the use of refurbished electronic products, but for how long? And even if this trend continues, various challenges in the technological, social, and legal spheres still need to be tackled.

Future of Electronics Hardware

Modern electronics become obsolete sooner than expected. As new technologies keep popping up, devices based on outdated technologies become irrelevant, creating a tremendous amount of e-waste that’s not good for the planet.

We are hopeful that this trend of switching to refurbished technology could boost self-sustaining and environmentally-friendly options, encouraging people to continue recycling and upcycling existing products far into the future.

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