Catching up to demand: accelerating circular solutions for electronics



10.30-12.00 noon

With our seemingly endless appetite for the latest electronic devices and their cocktail of batteries, precious metals and low value materials,  identifying and exploring workable circular solutions is an urgent challenge for the electronics industry.

What if we were to move beyond the mere collection and recycling of unwanted goods and consumables – and manage the entire product life cycle instead?  

What options are there for businesses that want to disrupt this dynamic? How can corporates change their business model? Or do regulators need to change the rules?

Our panel of experts has been engaged in the industry for decades and are in the ideal position to plot the path ahead. They’ll share a vision of what electronics could look like in Australia, along with suggestions for how we could get there.

John Gertsakis, Director, Communications, EQUILIBRIUM, and Rose Read, Chief Executive Officer, MRI PSO, together bring over 40 years’ experience in product stewardship to moderate the session.

Carmel Dollisson, CEO of Australia & New Zealand Recycling Platform (ANZRP), will share how her founding companies – including Canon, DELL, HP, Fuji-Xerox and IBM – are working together with councils, recyclers and other take-back programs to ensure at least 90% of the commodities recovered from the e-waste collected and dismantled across Australia are used as raw materials in the manufacture of new products.  

Peter Brisbane, Director, Stewardship and Waste at the Department of the Environment and Energy will share a national policy perspective – reflecting on successes and challenges of Australia’s product stewardship initiatives in electronics (including batteries), and discussing the roles of government, business and consumers in changing the status quo.

Monique Retamal, Research Principal at UTS, will share her research into increasing product longevity, with a focus on ‘slowing’ life cycles by repairing, sharing and reusing, as opposed to the current focus on recycling, or ‘closing’ material loops. While technical approaches to product longevity – such as designing for durability and modularity, and enabling repair, reuse and resale – are well established, there are systemic barriers to their implementation, which suggests there is an important role for public policy to drive change

Glen Winkler, State General Manager, South Australia & Northern Territory at Telstra Enterprise will share his insights on Telstra’s Electronics Reuse and Recycling Strategy – ‘Unlocking Hidden Value’, as well as progress on mobile phone leasing and recycling.