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The falling cost of solar power has led to a boom in recent years, with more and more photovoltaic panels popping up on rooftops and backyard solar farms around the world.
But what happens to all of those solar panels in a couple of decades when they reach the end of their useful life? And what about electronic devices with even shorter life spans?
Those questions are at the heart of new research released by a team at Georgia Institute of Technology, where researchers looked into the impact of government policies put in place to reduce the amount of electronics waste filling up landfills.
“There is a lot of concern in sustainability circles that manufacturers are making things with shorter and shorter life spans, and products are perhaps even intentionally made to become obsolete to induce replacement purchases,” said Beril Toktay, a professor at Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business.