This report seeks to identify issues of policy incoherence, incentive structures, as well as market and regulatory failures at different phases of the entire product/material life cycle of critical metals in mobile devices and discusses how sustainable materials management policies (SMM) could be operationalised—or concretely applied—to help address these issues. This study explores the life cycle of mobile devices through the framework of SMM, which the OECD has described in a working definition as ―an approach to promote sustainable materials use, integrating actions targeted at reducing negative environmental impacts and preserving natural capital throughout the life cycle of materials, taking into account economic efficiency and social equity. This report discusses how SMM practices can help minimize environmental impacts while improving economic and social benefits. Additionally, the report evaluates the effectiveness of existing policies in terms of how they enable and incentivize different actors to meet these SMM policy goals.
[DATE: November 2011]