Barriers and Drivers Related to the Repair of Electronic Products: A Case Study on Televisions

By Claudia Déméné and Anne Marchand.

Published by The International Journal of Sustainability Policy and Practice

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: January 8, 2016 $US5.00

The decrease in lifespan of electronic products has become problematic considering the rapid growth of electronic waste (e-waste) and its adverse effects on the environment. Repair could represent a sustainable alternative by delaying the disposal of electronic products. Nevertheless, consumers in Western countries are not particularly oriented towards the repair of electronic products. Based on a case study on televisions, the objective of this paper is to offer, through a series of semi-structured interviews with repair professionals, a better understanding of barriers and drivers related to the repair of electronic products. The case study on televisions has raised several issues encountered during the repair of most electronic equipment, such as the cost of repairing versus purchasing a new product, the increasing complexity of both product design and electronic components, and the wide diversity of spare parts. This paper explores different user groups willing to go through the repair process in order to identify and promote incentives to more consumers and to extend the lifespan of electronic goods. Among the obstacles, those related to spare parts have been discussed through the weaknesses of the current legal framework. This study recommends reinforcing the legal framework since existing orientations do not seem significant enough to support manufacturers in facilitating repairs and encouraging consumers to repair their items.

Keywords: Electronic Waste, Repair, Repair Professionals, Spare Parts, Television

The International Journal of Sustainability Policy and Practice, Volume 12, Issue 1, March 2016, pp.1-14. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: January 8, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 662.408KB)).

Claudia Déméné

Assistant Professor, École de design, Faculté d’aménagement, d’architecture, d’art et de design, Université Laval, Québec, Québec, Canada

Anne Marchand

Associate Professor, École de Design, Faculté de l'Aménagement, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Quebec, Canada