ISRI Chief Lobbyist Billy Johnson and Senior Director for International Relations Adina Renee Adler attended the 16th International Electronics Recycling Congress (IERC) in Salzburg, Austria, in January – an important opportunity to interact with global e-recyclers, governments and NGOs on trends in the e-recycling industry and establish potential new partners in Europe, Latin America, Australia, and South Africa.
The prevailing theme continues to be promoting the Circular Economy through technology developments and rational government policies. The conference included corporate speakers on supply chain management, evolving business models, technological innovation, and reuse/refurbishment. Presentations on policy development around Europe and Latin America also provided insight into the varying levels of recycling infrastructure development around the world. Of particular note was the growing importance of repair and extending the lifespans of used electronic products through reverse supply chain management or reverse logistics. Most manufacturers have discovered that repairing and refurbishing products makes not only environmental sense but economic sense that helps reduce waste and lost revenue. Not only are manufacturers grasping this understanding but also retailers of all types of products from electronics to clothing. The Circular Economy is taking shape for a variety of reasons with a host of new opportunities for recyclers throughout the world.