Young consumers' e-waste awareness, consumption, disposal, and recycling behavior: a case study of university students in Sydney, Australia

Md Tasbirul Islam, Pablo Dias, Nazmul Huda*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In this study, young consumers, especially university students' awareness, perception, and disposal patterns for waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), were measured using a questionnaire survey in Sydney, Australia. To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first attempt to understand the consumer behavior of e-waste, focusing on educated young generation in an urban setting. Besides, descriptive analysis, statistical analysis was performed to identify correlation among variables, such as reasons for disposing of equipment, hoarding (storage), and disposal behavior. The lifespan of electrical and electronic equipment (EEE), when possessed by young consumers, was also investigated. The results of the study showed that although the consumers were aware of what electronic waste (e-waste) is, there is a severe lack of knowledge regarding collection points and current recycling programs, such as the National Television and Computer Recycling Scheme (NTCRS). Furthermore, it was also found that most respondents were inclined to sound e-waste disposal, indicating that awareness programs are essential to avoid the incorrect disposal of WEEE. Reasons for disposal and frequency of new product purchases were positively associated with the household income. Mean possession lifespan (in years) across our respondents was 6.21 for television sets, 4.31 for laptop computers and 5.47 for desktop computers. The findings provide valuable insights for policymakers developing sustainable e-waste management strategies among young consumers in Australia.
Original languageEnglish
Article number124490
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Volume282
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2021

Keywords

  • Consumer awareness
  • National television and computer recycling scheme (NTCRS)
  • Storage
  • Lifespan
  • Desktop computers
  • Laptops

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