OECD is 1/5 of world population, but only 1/2 of sales. How E-Recycling Opens the Market
|Fair Trade Recycling is a 4:1 Friendship|
When Egypt or Indonesia bans imports of anything more than 3 years after date of manufacture, it's essentially a ban on all used sales. Goods are often not sold for a year, and then they are used for at least two years, then it takes months to collect and ship them.
The consumers in those markets are left with 3 choices:
1) Go without
2) Buy brand new, with 30% of their total annual income ($3000 per year)
3) Learn to like cheap no-name, white box, Chinese brands.
This danger is explained in The Battle for China's Good Enough Market, a seminal work in Harvard Business Review (which I bought for reading on a plane coming back from France and Egypt). If you don't make the product that the emerging market can afford to buy, you are growing competition in the vacuum.
My advice to manufacturers is to stop trying to support the HR2284 bill. You need these markets (83% of the world) to grow and develop. Exports of working and repairable is not "market cannabalization" if you don't have the logistics or infrastructure in the market. Used computers and TVs get the emerging market to "buy in".
Yes, counterfeiting is a problem. But like a prohibition or "war on drugs", it's futile to send legitimate demand into the black market. If we supply the goods in Fair Trade Contract terms, we can better control what markets used goods are sold into, and how they are used.
If used cell phones had not been allowed to be sold in Africa or India 10 years ago, would you have the cell phone towers and demand for your product you see now? For the cell phone tower investors, the used cell phones were essential. They could not build the bandwidth without a buyer, and the buyers could only afford used.
Fair trade recycling is a decent compromise.
|Nasr City E-Reuse|
This isn't really about CRT displays, its about finding the beauty in the free market and fair trade, and teaching fellow environmentalists that we, too, need a "precautionary principle" if we are to begin accusing brown people of being primitive wire burning polluters when what they are actually doing is creating sustainable jobs, without mining, making display units that last 10 more years. Let your eyes adjust to the dark, you may find that the primitives are classifying circuitry, salvaging chips, repairing cell phones, and deserve the courtesy of their own side of the story.
A final irony, as revealed on this blog last spring... when USA and Europe stopped supplying southeast Asia with the gently used OECD CRT monitors for refurbishing in SKD, the factories did not go away, and demand in Africa did not go away. They used older CRT, refurbished Chinese generated, which often have much higher hourly wear on the cathode ray gun. So the quality of refurbs to Africa fell, and the E-waste generated in Africa went up, not down. Thank you, California. SB20 is the gift that keeps on giving me the creeps.
No intact unit = let them eat cake.