The Sustainable Management of Used Mobile Phones: A Repertory Grid Analysis

Philip Coffey, Crown Law Office New Zealand
Janet Toland, Victoria University of Wellington New Zealand


Used mobile phones create a unique problem when it comes to managing electronic waste (E-waste).This study investigated what factors influence consumer attitudes towards adopting a more sustainable approach when dealing with their used mobile phones. A reuse, refurbish and recycle strategy (3R) was used as a lens to examine the current literature from which an initial model was developed. Using the repertory grid interview technique twelve participants in New Zealand were interviewed to try to determine their core beliefs when it came to managing their used mobile phones. The results of the study indicate that consumers care about the effect of used mobile phones on the environment and provide a direction in which to target educational messaging on sustainability and the impact of used mobile phones. Messages should focus on reusing and recycling, in order to achieve maximum value, in particular the negative effects of storing old mobile phones should be emphasized.