How the Dead Storage of Consumer Electronics Creates Consumer Value

Mikkel Nøjgaard*, Cristiano Smaniotto, Søren Askegaard, Ciprian Cimpan, Dmitry Zhilyaev, Henrik Wenzel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Consumers across the globe tend to store their small electronic devices when they reach their end of life instead of disposing of them. This is a problem because if end-of-life devices are not recovered from consumers' homes, the devices cannot be re-used or recycled, leading to increased production. We study what motivates consumers to store their end-of-life devices by looking at how storage creates consumer value. Applying a practice-based understanding of value, we find that storage is a social practice that generates value by protecting consumers from four different kinds of risk: practical risks, existential risks, environmental risks, and moral risks. Storage gives consumers a sense of security in their everyday lives and thus generates what we call 'security value'. This notion implies that even though end-of-life devices sit idle in consumers' homes, their value generating capacity remains active. The findings have implications for the role of consumers in reverse logistics strategies for sustainable systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5552
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number14
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020


  • Circular economy
  • Consumer electronics
  • Consumer value
  • Storage


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