Ten ways to ditch your phone


When buying a new phone, one should turn in the old one to recycle. Yet most people tend to store and forget their old phones, thereby blocking the circular economy in precious metals. How can designers create a ‘culture of return’ instead, asks Dr Flora Poppelaars from the TU Delft Faculty of Industrial Design and Engineering (IDE). To help designers to get people to ditch their phones properly instead of letting them hibernate, Poppelaars developed 10 ‘divestment principles’ in her PhD study Let It Go. Designing the Divestment of Mobile Phones in a Circular Economy from a User Perspective. (Defence: 8 October 2020). Divestment principle number 2: take users by the hand and help them say goodbye (prepare them for the inevitable moment of separation). Number 7: consider the body and soul of devices (take care that ‘the soul’ or content is properly transferred to its next incarnation or device). Number 9: leverage the relationship between the user and their phone (be aware of the emotional attachment of users with their devices). Read more in the TU Delft repository.