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E-Waste, Circular Economy and Innovation

Activity: Talk or presentation typesPublic Lecture/ Debate/Seminar


Abstract: The amount of e-waste, i.e. discarded electronics and electrical equipment, is growing at a rapid rate due to a number of interactive phenomena, including global development, population increase, speed of innovation, cheaper consumable goods and diminishing non-renewable resources. In 2019 alone, the world generated over 50 million tonnes of e-waste. When we consider the cost of manufacturing electronic and electrical devices, the materials contained within them, the skills required to build and use them, it raises serious questions such as ‘Why do we discard them; Why are we not recapturing them; What alternatives are there?’. Dr Stowell will provide an overview of a circular economy in the context of e-waste, including a look at the questions raised by current practices, as well as challenges, innovations and opportunities that management face when tackling this issue. Dr Stowell will consider how a circular economy - aimed at eliminating waste and the continual use of resources - might provide an answer to the growing problem of e-waste.
Bio: Alison studied at the Universities of Portsmouth and Lancaster, and worked at the Crown Prosecution Service, IBM and an academic at Anglia Ruskin University before joining Lancaster University in 2014. Alison is a Senior Lecturer at Lancaster University and her research interests focus on social and organisational responses to the challenges of waste. Specific areas of interest include: Organisation and management responses, waste policy, negotiating values attributed to waste and waste as a particular type of work. Although, for the past 10 years her preoccupation has focused on electronic waste (e-waste e.g. computers, laptops, mobile telephones etc), her curiosity relates to most forms.

External organisation

NameRoyal Society of Chemistry Thomas Graham House
LocationScience Park Milton Road
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom