The reverse logistics of the electronic products

With the technology development, the needs of the electronics products increase more and more. As we all know, the electronic products are always updated and replaced by the next generation so fast. So the life of one product is shorter compared with other products normally. I always changed my cell phone around 2 years, and the laptop also can be used around 5years not because of the poor quality, but due to the new requirements of the some software or operation system appearing, the old one can hardly meet the need any more.

Consequently, lots of the rubbish including the broken computers, printers, communication equipment, household electrical appliances or the electronic instrument is left. This kind of rubbish is called E-waste, will be very harmful to the human health, while it also contains lots of the elements like metal, plastic which could be recycled for use. Then the reverse logistics of the E-waste appeared in order to solve the E waste pollution. Many companies start to establish the reverse logistics system not only for protecting the environment but also they can get considerable benefits from it.

Employees push a cart loaded with discarded electronic products at the Coopermiti warehouse in Sao Pauloe-waste

The normal E-waste logistics structure should be as following:

  1. Recycling: this is the basic function of the reverse logistics; the cost of recycling is a big part of the whole logistics system. Collecting the E-waste from the different places, with less amount increase the difficulty of transportation.
  2. Detect and dismantle: this step is the key to determine if the waste could be reused and through which way can be reused. During the process, the rubbish can be recognized more early to save the transportation cost.
  3. Reprocessing: the waste which can be reused will be reprocessed. The way including reusing, reproducing and recycling. Reusing means the waste can be used again only by being cleaned or being repaired a little directly. Reproducing means keeping the main structure and function of the waste, by replacing and detecting some parts to produce a new one. Recycling means only collecting the useful metal, crystal or plastics from the waste by dismantling the waste.
  4. Resale: selling the recycled products including sale, transportation and warehousing. This process is similar to the normal logistics system.

Nowadays, many western countries have formulated strict regulations regarding with the recycling E-waste while in China we still do not have the related regulations although we already become a big electronic product consumed country. I think the reverse logistics system of the E-waste should not only be paid attention by the government, but also it should be implemented from the enterprises themselves. The government could introduce some policies to protect or compensate to encourage those companies. And the people also should become more aware of the E-waste recycling. Consequently, our society could be made better and better in the future.

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