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Disassembly Time Tax

Taxing electronics based on the time it takes to separate toxic materials containing parts from the rest.

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Written by DeletedUser

Separating toxic parts from normal materials, such as plastic covers, is often difficult and time consuming. Electronic devices could be taxed based on the time it takes to separate parts containing toxics from the rest. Tax could be a fixed amount tax times the time in seconds it takes to disassemble the device. This way the well-designed modular devices could avoid the tax almost completely. At the same time the modularity might make the production of devices easier, thus providing the companies also cost savings. As a result, the companies would have financial incentives to design easily recyclable devices.


Environmental ratings (see also recy-cool-ability by Paul) could be used to define the amount of tax for different devices.  The better the rating, the lower the taxes. A similar tax has also been suggested by Priscilla. These kind of taxes would create  new design constraints helping to implement concepts by Valentina and Christine, which would, among other things, encourage development of modular cell phones. Modular cell phones would support the creation of new business models, such as by Andrew. The second photo is a simple illustration of the relationships between all these concepts

Thanks, Paul, again for the suggestions!

How does your concept safeguard human health and protect our environment?

The recycling of e-waste would be made more efficient by making it easier to separate toxic internal parts of electronic devices from non-toxic covers.

Where does your concept fit into the lifecycle of electronic devices?

The concept fits both to design phase of new electronic devices and processing of electronic waste. The tax would create incentives to design devices that are easier to process at the end of their life-cycle.

What steps could be taken today to start implementing your concept?

Lobbying politics. UPDATE: The finished concept could be posted to sites aimed at crowdsourcing law propositions from citizens. These kinds of platforms and supporting legislation are already in place in some countries. One example is described here:

What kinds of resources will be needed to fully implement and scale your concept?

Most important resource is the political will to implement a new tax.

My Virtual Team

Paul Reader Priscilla Melo Alexis Cooke Christine Thompson Valentina Andrew Allen


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Photo of Patricio M. Hidalgo

I like your incentive wrapped up at the policy level opportunistically. #collaboration

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