Identifying the Impact of the Circular Economy on the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) industry: Opportunities and challenges for businesses, workers and consumers – mobile phones as an example

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The transition to the Circular Economy will impact businesses, workers and consumers in different ways/varying degrees across the economy. The Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) sector is crucial for this transition. In 2016, the consumer electronics sector alone produced 44.7 million tonnes of e-waste, with mobile phones accounting for 435 thousand tonnes, and a mere 20% being recycled. This study presents the opportunities and challenges arising from implementing a circular approach, using the mobile phone sector as an example. The analysis focuses on the potential for recovering six key materials through recycling, as well as employment in the refurbishment sector and emission savings from extending the average lifetime of devices. The study finds that there is major untapped potential for recovering materials from mobile phones that reach the end-of-life stage.

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Identifying the impact of the circular economy on the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods Industry - Opportunities and challenges for business, workers and consumers – mobile phones as an example