Eco-Efficiency Comparative Analysis of Informal and Formal Smartphone Recycling Practices Using Life Cycle Assessment

Diana Puspita Sari, Nur Aini Masruroh, Anna Maria Sri Asih


Due to a lack of environmental protection awareness and knowledge, many practices informally recycle smartphone waste to get precious metals. Smartphones are hazardous and toxic waste materials, so they require proper handling not to cause problems for the environment. This study aims to measure the environmental impact and eco-efficiency level of formal recycling practices carried out by licensed companies and compare them with informal recycling practices carried out by the community. Environmental impact measurement uses Life Cycle Assessment with the eco-cost method. The measurement results show informal recycling practices have a higher environmental impact than formal recycling practices. Informal recycling practices harm almost every category, while formal recycling has a significant positive impact on the acidification and metal scarcity categories. Based on the value of the eco-efficiency index, formal recycling practices are affordable and sustainable and have an eco-efficiency level of 100%. Economically, formal recycling provides higher financial benefits than informal recycling. Thus, formal recycling practices are better and more profitable than informal recycling practices from the economic and environmental aspects. So, it is time for Indonesia to switch to a formal recycling process carried out by licensed companies considering the vast potential for waste as a raw material. The government's role is to invite the public to distribute smartphone waste to licensed recycling companies.


Eco-efficiency; life cycle assessment; environmental impact; recycling; formal; informal

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