Will wearable technology destroy advances in recycling?

Read the full story in GreenBiz.

While the products vary widely, wearable technologies have one thing in common. Users depend on battery power to use the devices wherever they go. Batteries are incorporated into products using glue or through full integration into the products’ frames. This design approach reduces manufacturing costs and decreases the size and weight of the end product, a huge advantage for the user.

But the design also makes it virtually impossible to remove the batteries and successfully reclaim the constituent metals. It is much more difficult to detach and disassemble the technology from a garment or product than from a cell phone or power tool. It often involves two or more steps: first, the wearable device must be removed from the garment. Then, the battery must be removed from the wearable device.

Author: Laura B.

I'm the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center's Sustainability Information Curator, which is a fancy way of saying embedded librarian. I'm also Executive Director of the Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable. When not writing for Environmental News Bits, I'm an avid reader. Visit Laura's Reads to see what I'm currently reading.

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