Smartphone Case Study

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Problem Definition, Background, and Context
In the 1860s, Alexander Parkes developed the first man-made plastic which has now been integrated into almost every aspect of our lives, from the smartphones we use everyday to life changing technologies. Post World War Two, Canadian societies were introduced to plastics and started a disposable trend. Environmentalism forced realization that this disposable trend will generate a huge amount of waste. A movement was then started in 1970 in hopes to reverse the trend and start a new one consisting of reducing, reusing, and recycling waste. In the same time frame plastics were introduced, Canada switched over to the metric system. Switching to the metric system forced many packaging companies to
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With the creation of newer technologies, such as smartphones, that are made more complexly made, recycling these devices are becoming much more difficult. Not only are these technologies difficult to recycle, but the accessories that come with them. The majority of people who own an expensive smartphone want to protect it with a phone case, and typically in style. The smartphone market is extremely competitive and with that, every year, a new smartphone with a completely new design will be introduced. This then creates a surplus of phone cases as consumers look into switching for the most recent model that has been launched within the phone industry. However, many of the old phone cases are not reusable on newer devices, and are simply thrown out into the garbage and end up at the landfill. Plastic takes at least 500 years to decompose, and some plastics are composed of numerous toxic chemicals, which are then being exposed to the environment. There are currently not many recycling programs that directly address how to dispose of phone cases. Although, doing so is quite crucial as it will only continue to grow as many more models of smartphones will continue to be released in the…show more content…
This bin will be left at a local municipal building in Kitchener, Waterloo for residents to place either old phone cases or regular plastics. When full, bins will be transported to the site of the 3D printer and compressed into appropriate sized pieces depending on specific consumer requests. Felix Preston, 2013, stated that the need for an environmentally conscious 3D printing process that consists of the reuse of printed materials is mandatory to innovate within the green community. 3D printing can also promote local marketing, product efficiency, and saving resources that would be required to make a certain product, such as a phone case, in a factory setting (Preston, 2013). Therefore, the use of the 3D printer will contribute to general sustainability factors, including eco-efficient operations, where pollutants are not given off, and the ability to reuse
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