Product repair in a circular economy: exploring public repair behavior from a systems perspective
Repair practices are driven not only by consumers’ internal motivation, but also by external infrastructural, social including cultural, financial, and political factors. We explore these factors with the goal of understanding the public repair of electrical and electronic products (e-products) from a systems perspective to help devise appropriate change interventions. We document (a) behavioral aspects, (b) techno-economic factors, and (c) intervention strategies aimed at promoting repair practices. To gauge this, a survey was administered among 922 volunteers across 14 countries with experience in repairing e-products at public repair events. Findings suggest that while behavioral constructs including personal values, beliefs, and attitudes toward product repair are the main proximal drivers of intention to repair, the ability to repair plays an important role. Further, these individual factors are influenced by the techno-economic settings such as access to repair services, economic benefits, and the ease of product repair stands out as the key enablers for product lifetime extension. As per intervention strategies, the results highlight economic incentives, regulatory requirements, and public awareness as the key drivers. However, influencing repair behavior directly may not always be the most effective strategy. New initiatives to improve involvement should focus on more repairable products, exploiting the innovative potentials of commercial as well as non-profit repair initiatives, education, and supporting the development of skills among volunteer repairers.
Creating a repair society to advance the Circular Economy – policies, networks and people (CREACE)
Swedish Research Council for Environment Agricultural Sciences and Spatial PlanningFind out more...
PublicationJournal of Industrial Ecology, 2023
PublisherWiley and Sons Ltd
Other Funding informationIrish Research Council, Grant/Award Number:713279; Svenska Forskningsrådet Formas, Grant/Award Numbers: 2019-02237, 2022-02045
Also affiliated with
- Health Research Institute (HRI)
Sustainable development goals
- (9) Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
- (11) Sustainable Cities and Communities
Department or School
- Allied Health
- Electronic & Computer Engineering