Circularity for Electric and Electronic Equipment (EEE), the Edge and Distributed Ledger (Edge&DL) Model
In the transition to a circular focus on electric and electronic products, manufacturers play a key role as the originators of both the products and the information about the products. While the waste electric and electronic equipment (WEEE) directive's contemporary focus is on handling the product as waste after its end of life, the circular economy focuses on retaining the product's value with a restorative system. The polluter-pays principle requires producers of pollution to bear the costs
... f handling the pollution, leading to the extended producer responsibility (EPR) principle. This requires manufacturers to change their focus from their current passive role of out-sourcing end-of-life treatment to taking explicit responsibility for product management over an extended period of time. This paper investigates how a manufacturer can assume its responsibility to achieve circularity for its products. Based on our findings, three fundamental circularity principles, the circular electric and electronic equipment (CEEE) principles, for manufactures of electronic and electrical equipment are defined: (1) Serialize product identifiers, (2) data controlled by their authoritative source at the edge, and (3) independent actors' access to edge data via a distributer ledger are the foundation of the Edge and Distributed Ledger (Edge&DL) model. We demonstrate the model through a case study of how to achieve circularity for lighting equipment. The CEEE principles and the demonstrated model contribute to building new circularity systems for electronic and electric products that let manufacturers undertake their extended product responsibility.