Social attitudes towards electronic waste and the implementation of circular economy principles


circular economy
consumer behaviour

How to Cite

Lorek, E., & Lorek, P. (2023). Social attitudes towards electronic waste and the implementation of circular economy principles. Ekonomia I Środowisko - Economics and Environment, 83(4), 325–337.


This article addresses the issue of electro-waste and the role of the consumer of electrical and electronic equipment within the organisation of a circular economy. The aim of the article is (i) to identify the attitudes of the consumers surveyed towards unused electrical and electronic equipment, (ii) to assess the consistency of the attitudes displayed with the principles of the circular economy, and (iii) to identify the most important factors influencing these attitudes. The theoretical part approaches issues such as consumers' subjective perception of electro-waste, the increasing amount of electro-waste globally, and the problems associated with limited recycling opportunities. The conducted study revealed the potential of the surveyed consumers for the organisation of the circular economy in the field of electro-waste management, as well as the risk factors in the form of depositing electro-waste into the municipal waste stream. The analysis also showed a correlation between attitudes towards electro-waste with factors such as age, gender and education. In the concluding part, the most underlying consumer problems related to electro-waste management were systematised; more thorough research was also signalled.


Althaf, S., Babbitt, C., & Chen, R. (2021). The evolution of consumer electronic waste in the United States. Journal of Industrial Ecology, 25(3), 693-706.

Camilleri, M. A. (2020). European environment policy for the circular economy: Implications for business and industry stakeholders. Sustainable Development, 28(6), 1804-1812.

Chakrabarty, A., & Nandi, S. (2021). Electronic waste vulnerability: circular economy as a strategic solution. Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy, 23, 429-443.

Corona, B., Shen, L., Reike, D., Carreón, J. R., & Worrel, E. (2019). Towards sustainable development through the circular economy – A review and critical assessment on current circularity metrics. Resources, Conservation & Recycling, 151.

Cullen, J. (2017). Circular Economy – Theoretical Benchmark or Perpetual Motion Machine? Journal of Industrial Ecology, 21(3), 483-486.

den Hollander, M., Bakker, C. A., & Hultink, E. J. (2017). Product design in a Circular Economy. Journal of Industrial Ecology, 21(3), 517-525.

Directive (EU) 2012/19/EU of the European Parliament and the Council of 4 July 2012 on waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE), Pub. L. No. 32012L0019, 197 OJ L (2012).

ElektroEko. (2022, May 16). Co to są elektrośmieci?

Forti, V., Baldé, C. P., Kuehr, R., & Bel, G. (2020). The Global E-waste Monitor 2020: Quantities, flows and the circular economy potential. United Nations University (UNU)/United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) – co-hosted SCYCLE Programme, International Telecommunication Union (ITU) & International Solid Waste Association (ISWA). Bonn/Geneva/Rotterdam.

Goyal, S., Esposito, M., & Kapoor, A. (2018). Circular economy business models in developing economies: Lessons from India on reduce, recycle, and reuse paradigms. Thunderbird International Business Review, 60(5), 729-740.

Gradinaru, G., & Maricut, A. C. (2022). From the rebound effect to the perspective of circular economy: a structure changes analysis among EU countries. Economic Computation & Economic Cybernetics Studies & Research, 56(1), 257-272.

Hanumante, N., Shastri, Y., & Hoadley, A. (2019). Assessment of circular economy for global sustainability using an integrated model. Resources, Conservation & Recycling, 151.

Hazen, B., Mollenkopf, D., & Wang, Y. (2017). Remanufacturing for the Circular Economy. An Examination of Consumer Switching Behavior. Business Strategy and the Environment, 26(4), 451-464.

Jørgensen, S., & Pedersen, L. J. T. (2018). The Circular Rather than Linear Economy. In P. Schrivastava & L. Zsolnai (Eds.), RESTART Sustainable Business Model Innovation (pp. 103-120). Palgrave MacMillan.

Jung, Y. S., Sampath, V., Prunicki, M., Aguilera, J., Allen, H., LaBeaud, D., Veidis, E., Barry, M., Erny, B., Patel, L., Akdis, C., Akdis, M., & Nadeau, K. (2022). Characterization and regulation of microplastic pollution for protecting planetary and human health. Environmental Pollution, 315.

Korhonen, J., Honkasalo, A., & Seppälä, J. (2018). Circular Economy: The Concept and its Limitations. Ecological Economics, 143, 37-46.

Lam, C., Lim, S. R., & Schoenung, J. M. (2012). Linking Material Flow Analysis with Environmental Impact Potential. Journal of Industrial Ecology, 17(2), 299-309.

Li, Z. (2012). On the Establishment of Ecological Circular Economy Under the Guidance of Sustainable Development Concept. Advanced Materials Research, 524-527, 3647-3650.

Moreau, V., Sahakian, M., van Griethuysen, P., & Vuille, F. (2017). Why social and Institutional Dimensions Matter for the Circular Economy. Journal of Industrial Ecology, 21(3), 497-506.

Pitron, G. (2019). Wojna o metale rzadkie. Warszawa: Kogut.

Potting, J., Hekkert, M., Worell, E., & Hanemaaijer, A. (2017). Circular economy: measuring innovation in the product chain. PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency.

Puntillo, P., Gulluscio, C., Huisingh, D., & Veltri, S. (2021). Reevaluating waste as a resource under a circular economy approach from system perspective: Findings from a case study. Business Strategy and the Environment, 30(2), 968-984.

Romero-Hernandez, O., & Romero, S. (2018). Maximizing the value of waste: From waste management to the circular economy. Thunderbird International Business Review, 60(5), 754-764.

Santato, C., & Alarco, P. J. (2022). The Global Challenge of Electronics: Managing the Present and Preparing the Future. Advanced Materials Technologies, 7(2).

Sasikumar, P., & Kannan, G. (2008). Issues in reverse supply chains, part I: end-of-life product recovery and inventory management – an overview. International Journal of Sustainable Engineering, 1(3), 154-172.

Shuptar-Poryvaieva, N. Y., Gubanova, E. R., Andryeyeva, N. M., & Shevchenko, T. I. (2020). Examining of portable betteries externalities with focus on consumption and disposal phases. Ekonomia I Środowisko - Economics and Environment, 75(4), 24-37.

Talens Peiró, L., Ardente, F., & Mathieux, F. (2017). Design for Disassembly Criteria in EU Product Policies for a More Circular Economy. Journal of Industrial Ecology, 21(3), 731-741.

Tomić, T., & Schneider, D. (2020). Circular economy in waste management – Socio-economic effect of changes in waste management system structure. Journal of Environmental Management, 267, 110564.

Woo, S. H., Lee, D. S., & Lim, S. R. (2015). Potential Resource and Toxicity Impacts from Metals in Waste Electronic Devices. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management, 12(2), 364-370.

Xavier, L. H., Giese, E. C., Ribeiro-Duthie, A. C., & Lins, F. A. F. (2021). Sustainability and the circular economy: A theoretical approach focused on e-waste urban mining. Resources Policy, 74, 101467.

Zu, Y. X., Li, Z., Jia, Y., & Jia, S. S. (2012). Study on the Production and Trend of the Electronic Waste in China Based on Grey Prediction Model. Advanced Materials Research, 599, 551-555.

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Copyright (c) 2023 Ekonomia i Środowisko - Economics and Environment


Download data is not yet available.