Home » Sustainability | Free Full-Text | E-Device Purchase and Disposal Behaviours in the UAE: An Exploratory Study

Sustainability | Free Full-Text | E-Device Purchase and Disposal Behaviours in the UAE: An Exploratory Study

by gwcmag

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is one of the high-income countries in the Middle Eastern region and is vying for sustainable development in every sector. One of the UAE sustainable development goals is to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns; hence, the emphasis is on circular economy. UAE is one of largest consumers of e-devices, and their proper disposal is of paramount importance. E-waste disposal awareness leads to better disposal behaviors. Therefore, the purpose of the study was to understand the e-device purchase and disposal behaviour among university communities in the UAE. A survey was conducted among the students and staff members of a federally funded university in the UAE, namely Zayed University, and quantitative methodology was adopted to analyze the collected data. The study found that 47.95% of respondents purchased mobile phones, and 65% of the respondents purchased 1–3 electronic devices every year. Through chi-square test, gender of the respondents was found to be related with e-device ownership. Through the analysis of variance (ANOVA), age and field of specialization were found to affect the knowledge about e-waste. Older and the respondents with science specialization were more aware about e-waste. Most of the respondents disposed e-devices, such as batteries, earphones/headphones, and electronic toys, along with the household trash. A very small percentage of respondents disposed e-devices such as laptops, phones, and tablets with the household trash. Mostly, these were either repaired, donated, or sold to second-hand users. Many respondents were neither aware of the government initiatives on e-waste collection nor participated in government-sponsored e-waste recycling. The study further identified that 67% of the respondents were aware of the toxicity of e-waste, and 61% of the respondents were keen to join e-waste recycling drives at university. The findings of the study imply that the policy makers need to incentivize e-waste-disposal systems and develop targeted awareness approaches to enhance e-waste disposal in the UAE.
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