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Electronic Products and Obsolescence in a Circular Economy

Over the past century, electrical and electronic equipment, and the industry that produces it, have contributed to enabling welfare, economic growth and job creation in Europe and around the world. Producing electronic and electrical equipment is, however, a resource intensive industry. Besides production and manufacturing, electrical and electronic equipment also require electric energy in their use phase. The environmental and climate effects of electrical and electronic equipment have a lot to do with product lifetimes and obsolescence. This report, which provided the analytical underpinning for an EEA Briefing on the issue, describes the current system of electrical and electronic equipment from a European perspective – including production and consumption trends, insights on product lifetimes and obsolescence as well as environmental and climate pressures.