What are the main challenges in the supply chain management of the smartphone industry when it comes to renewing devices?
The refurbished market in India is around $0.1B or 900K devices (2021). A few challenges that the renewed smartphone industry encounters are the absence of local production of components and thus increased dependency on importing the components.
The OEMs (smartphone manufacturers) on the other hand use differentiated components and control the supply for the same, therefore the supply of the components is controlled artificially. Also, the ban on import of second-hand devices, makes the industry isolated from the international buyback market.
How renewed devices contribute to the mission of conscious consumption and what changes can it bring in terms of sustainable development?
A renewed device is a direct replacement of a new device; therefore, it eliminates the emissions and footprint that would have occurred if a new device was purchased. An insight from the industry says that a smartphone can be used for 5-7 years very easily but an average consumer is using it for only 18 months. A typical phone weighs around 160 grams. It contains a lot of components, made up of different materials.
The components are produced with materials that are processed from ores that are mined. While that 160-gram phone requires about 30kg of the earth to be mined to make its components. The mined ores when processed create around 85kg of solid and liquid waste. It constitutes 99.8 percent waste even before the phone has even been started to use.
How renewed mobile handsets can reduce the e-waste and carbon footprints?
The lion’s share of this footprint is the production process. The components are produced with materials that are processed from ores that are mined. So, that 160 gram phone requires about 30kg of the earth to be mined to make its components. When the mined ores are processed it creates around 85kg of solid and liquid waste.That’s 99.8% waste before that phone has even been used .
What is your plan to create an environmental consciousness in the next 5 years?
Our vision is to inspire conscious consumption by making an old device aspirational. We are doing various tangible things to materialize this:
- Increasing the lifecycle of the device.
- Part of 1 percent for the planet, supporting various NGOs and causes on the environmental front.
- Plastic free packaging made of recycled material.
- Using social media to spread awareness and change mindset towards environment and consumption.