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Traceability for a Circular Future

Possibilities for a traceability system for electronics and their components

Vinnova

Person holding an iPad-like prototype showing the Keep - Keeping Electrical and Electronic Products web application.
Recycling showing electronic waste.

Form production to recycling

Electronic waste is one of the fastest growing waste streams on the planet with 50 million tonnes of e waste being generated every year. Only a fraction of all that waste ends up in a recycling facility. This has devastating consequences for our planet and the health of the people who have to manage the waste. A traceability solution has advantages for all actors in the product lifecycle, from manufacturer to material recycler.

Sustainable Production

With a traceability system users can get information on material content within products including conflict minerals and rare earth metals and therefore identify exactly where components have been produced and mounted and under what working conditions. This provides both the purchaser and seller with information that enables them to identify and buy sustainable products more easily.

Increased reuse

A traceability system can support repair workshops and renovators with useful information such as previous repairs, damage analysis, product and component values, as well as access to spare parts and repair instructions. This information can help devices last longer and make it easier to find a new owner for them in future.

Improved material recycling

The more accurate information of which material a product consists of, the beter the sorting and extraction when it reaches a recycling centre. To reduce the waste from electronic equipment is one of the most important goals for the EU's directive on electric and electronic waste (WEEE).

Computer-like prototypes showing the Keep web application.

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