The emerging category of “green” electronics has captured consumers’ attention in the past year. They are beginning to understand the various environmental and health impacts of the plethora of devices they interact with on a daily basis, according to research from the Natural Marketing Institute.
Consumers are most anxious that their devices are difficult to recycle, but their concern differs by device, with almost 60 percent of consumers concerned that televisions are difficult to recycle, and only slightly over 40 percent of consumers stating that phones are difficult to recycle, according to the 2008 LOHAS Consumer Trends Database.
This corresponds to reality since major retailers have drop-off boxes for old cell phones, but there are fewer TV collection programs and collection sites are not always convenient.
Toxicity of materials like lead, PVC plastic, and cadmium is another important, though less prominent, area of concern. Consumers are most concerned about exposure through cell phones, which come into closest contact with the body. Given the growing concern about the effect of consumer products on personal health, this is an important area to watch.