The UK accounts for about 15% of the EU’s total electronic waste. In London alone, more than 4,000 televisions are discarded daily. While 450,000 tonnes of e-waste are recycled annually, more than half a million tonnes are unaccounted for.
To tackle this problem, Royal College of Art graduates Hannes Harms, Alex du Preez and Peter Krige have developed O.Update, a system that localises electronics manufacturing while reducing electronic waste.
Using O.Update, people can browse through an online database of electronic products and customise the objects they wish to buy. The order is then sent through to the O.Store, where customers can collect the final product.
The O.Store is essentially a local micro-manufacturing centre, as technicians build the electronic products on site to customers’ specific requirements. When the technology becomes redundant or an update is available, a new printed electronic card is sent through the post, which the user can simply insert into their device. The old card can then be returned to the O.Store and recycled.