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How buying behaviour and recycling behaviour influence

end-of life cell phone generation: A survey in Norwich

Over the past several years, cell phone has a rapid development. In the UK, 87% of
households had mobile phones in 2012. This huge development leads to the amount of Endof-life (EoL) cell phone is increasing significantly in these years. Consumer buying behavior
and recycling behavior may influence the number of EoL cell phone. This research focuses
on the relationship between EoL cell phone generation and consumer behavior.The data is
gotten by a survey, and it use to analyse the relationship between different individual
characteristics and cell phone contract choice; the relationship between contract choice and
age of phone; the relationship between different individual characteristics and buying
concerns; the relationship between different individual characteristics and recycling choice;
and the relationship between different individual characteristics and recycling motivations.
Regression, t-test and means comparison methods are used for analyzing these
relationships. The reasons of different consumer attitudes about buying and recycling cell
phone, and the suggestions of decreasing the number of EoL cell phone are discussed in this
Key words: EoL cell phone; buying behavior; recycling behavior;

1 Introduction ......................................................................................................................................... 1
1.1 Background information ............................................................................................................... 1
1.2previous researches about recycling behaviour and buying behaviour ........................................ 2
2 Literature review .................................................................................................................................. 3
2.1 Risks and benefits from EoL cell phone ........................................................................................ 3
2.2 The process of cell phone recycling .............................................................................................. 5
2.3 Factors and methods .................................................................................................................... 8
2.3.1 The first step: collection......................................................................................................... 9
2.3.2 The second and third step: pre-treatment at recycling facilities and back to market ........ 12
2.4 hat factors will influence consumer buying behavior ................................................................. 13
3. Overall objectives and aims .............................................................................................................. 15
4. Methodology ..................................................................................................................................... 16
4.1 The test area: Norwich ................................................................................................................ 16
4.2 Questionnaire design .................................................................................................................. 16
4.3 Analysis method and model design ............................................................................................ 19
5. Data and descriptive statistics .......................................................................................................... 23
6. Results ............................................................................................................................................... 30
6.1 Introduction ................................................................................................................................ 30
6.2 Research expectations ................................................................................................................ 31
6.3 Analysis results ............................................................................................................................ 32
6.3.1 Consumer buying behaviour analysis .................................................................................. 32
6.3.2 Consumer recycling behaviour ............................................................................................ 38
7. Discussion.......................................................................................................................................... 44
7.1Discussion of Consumer buying behavior .................................................................................... 44
7.2 Consumer recycling behavior...................................................................................................... 51
8. Suggestion ......................................................................................................................................... 53
9. Conclusion ......................................................................................................................................... 56
10. Limitation........................................................................................................................................ 58
11. Acknowledgement ......................................................................................................................... 59

1 Introduction

1.1 Background information

Over the past several decades, electronic products have a rapid development, for
example,in Czech Republic, the quantity of cell phones in 2009 is almost 20 times many as
that was 10 years ago (Polk and Drpalov, 2012). Peoples daily life has become more
convenient and efficient, by the help of these modern tools. However,electronic waste (ewaste), is the by-product of electronic products success, is troublingthe environment as
well. E-waste is a part of electrical and electronic waste (WEEE), according to the definition
of EU WEEE directive (Directive, 2003), WEEE is waste including all components, subassemblies and consumables, which are part of the product at the time of discarding. Since
mobile phones have a shorter lifecycles, and are replaced by new product within even
several months, end-of-life (EoL) cell phone has been treated as one of the most significant
problem among all e-waste categories (Bains et al., 2006).
The problem of EoL cell phone is more serious in developed countries, especially in the UK.
Data from the UK National Statistics Office (ONS) cites that 87% of households had mobile
phones in 2012, and it is only 80% in 2010 (ONS, 2012), that means the quantity of mobile
phone is growing rapidly. Though there is no official data of EoL phone in the UK, up to 18
million handsets are estimated to be replaced per year, and 50-90million handsets are put in
the drawer (Bains et al., 2006), it is reasonable to assume that this figure has risen
considerably since then.
Thus e-waste management is attracting more academic attention with a greater emphasis
on articles focusing on e-waste recycling, because it is recognised that recycling can reduce

the number of e-waste, and then can release the impact on the environment, in addition
some economic benefit from this recycling industry can be realised (Pagell et al., 2007).
1.2previous researches about recycling behaviour and buying behaviour
Recycling is a complicated process which includes many relevant individuals or groups, such
as consumers, third-party recyclers and the government. For improving the recycling
efficiency, all relevant individuals or groups should take part in the process actively (Pagell
et al., 2007). However, each individual or group has different motivations or reasons to
participate in recycling, thus being able to understand these factors is key in reaching
efficient recycling.
Unlike third-party recyclers who want to make a profit in the recycling industry, consumers
have other reasons for recycling, which depend on their different individual characteristics
or back ground. In addition to this, consumers,to a certain extent decide on the number of
end-of-life products will flow back to consumers toward raw materials (Pagell et al., 2007)
after disassembling and disposing, thus the consumer has had the most significant and
unstabilizingimpact in recycling process.
As mentioned in previouly, different backgrounds (e.g. different age, gender (Saphores et al.,
2006) and income) will influence the recycling decision of consumers, and the reasons (such
as relevant benefit (Silveira and Chang, 2010) and convenience (Canning, 2006))for
participating in recycling as well.About what factors will influence consumers torecycle,
some research hasinvestigated this in other countries, however, relevant data in the UK is

Lifetime of cell phone decides how many EoL cell phones in the market during a certain
period, and this time is decided by consumers. Cell phone manufactures believe that the
technical lifetime of cell phone is in the order of 10 years, that means retired cell phone may
have a good working condition, but most consumers change new phones 1-2 years on
average (Geyer and Blass, 2010). To a certain extent, increasingly cell phonesreplacement
frequency leads to the growth of EoL cell phone. Some studies have highlighted what factors
will have an effect on consumer buying behavior, and how important are they. Age and
gender are considered as important ones(Singh and Goyal, 2009).For example:younger
people who are 18-30 years old has the least price sensitive, and female consumers seems
have a higher price sensitive than male consumers(Singh and Goyal, 2009);younger people
and male consumer have a higher innovation acceptance rate, in other words, they are
more concerned with technological part when they buy a product (Yang, 2005), another
article proves this conclusion that younger people have a higher technology sensitive. But
this has not confirmed in cell phone buying behavior in the UK.

2 Literature review

2.1 Risks and benefits from EoL cell phone

In the recent years, the lack of attention and inappropriate methods, e-waste has
contributed significantly to environmental pollution. In 2005, more than 90% WEEE were
sent to landfill, incineration plant and recovery centre without pre-treatment(Darby and
Obara, 2005). Many developed countries exported e-waste to developing countries, such as
China and Indiafor recycling (Wong et al., 2007). All of these caused not only environmental
issues, but also the problem of public health. Most of unrecycledEoL cell phones are sent to

landfill.By reacting with rain or contact with soil directly, toxic metals and metallorids will
absorbed strongly by the organic, and inorganic colloidal constituent of soil (Alloway and
Alloway, 1995), then it will transfer to the plants that grows in the area (Clemens, 2006),
and this effect will expand by flow of underground water or surface water. In some places in
south China, the level of heavy metal in the rice exceeded limits (Fu et al., 2008), and the
data of people daily heavy metal intake was 5 times more than average after eating the
contaminated food and drinking the contaminated water (Leung et al., 2008). After noticed
the perniciousness of e-waste, some countries have declared e-waste management as a
priority concern and have started to formulate strategies for improvement(Widmer et al.,
2005) and try to recycle e-waste by introducing incentives(Nnorom and Osibanjo, 2008), or
even force consumer or manufactures to do it by law(Ni and Zeng, 2009, Nnorom and
Osibanjo, 2008).
Cell phone is a special and significant category, the hazard of EoL cell phone is derived from
two aspects: the battery, and the cell phone body.
Over several years, most people now know that the battery causes serious environmental
problems, and therefore they are more likely to recycle it.However, thepublic has still to
recognise that cell phone body may as dangerous as the battery for the environment.
A cell phone contains around 40 elements, and half of these are metallic elements(Silveira
and Chang, 2010), that account for approximately 40% of total weight. Fig 1 shows
thetypical materials content of cell (Tanskanen, 2013). Iron alloy is the largest metallic
material which is 27% of total weight, copper alloy contents 11% of total weight which is the
second one and other metals account for 2 % in total. Though the remaining metals occupy
a small part, some of them, such as beryllium, cadmium, arsenic and antimony, are

extremely toxic to the environment and to human beings (Wu et al., 2008). They are
considered persistent and bioaccumulative toxins which may cause cancer and neurological,
reproductive, and developmental problems (Most, 2003).
As shown in fig 1, there is a mass of iron (Fe) and copper (Cu) in a cell phone, besides them,
considerable sliver (Ag), gold (Au) and palladium (Pd), which are precious metals, can also be
recycle from EoL cell phone(Geyer and Blass, 2010). By selling these precious metals and the
refurbished cell phone, recyclers can get several dollars per cell phone (Geyer and Blass,
2010), and it is a significant source of precious metal in the market.
2.2 The process of cell phone recycling
It is now widely acknowledged that there is a risk to public health from poor management of
e-waste, EoL recycling has advanced significantly in 21st century. By optimizing the recycling
process, increasing the diversity of EoL cell phone sources, more and more individuals and
groups join recycling; and by introducing more incentive methods, the efficiency of recycling
is increasing.
The whole process of recycling can be divided as three steps: collection; pre-treatment at
recycling facility; and feedback to market or energy generation through incineration or
disposal of non-recyclable material (Tanskanen, 2013). They are basic steps of e-waste
recycling, other more complex processes exist for recycling models are based on this system.
The simple model of cell phone recycling is show in fig 2(Tanskanen, 2013).

Fig 1: cell phone material contents

Pagell developed simple model to a closed-loop EoL cell phone recycling model (Pagell et al.,
2007). The main body of this model is similar to the basic one, but it links the third and the
first steps

Fig 2: the basic process of cell phone recycling

Fig 3: closed loop recycling process

Based on this closed-loop model, Pagell continued to develop the third step to a more
complex level (Pagell et al., 2007), not only do manufactures participate in the step of
feedback to market, but also charity, vendors and some consumers are included in these
process; moreover, Jang and Kim (2010) divided the whole process into two branches:
battery collection/pre-treatment and phone body collection/pre-treatment.

Fig 4: whole process of cell phone recycling

In the developed countries, charities act in a much more important role in the cell phone
recycling system than developing countries; it is not only asources of the EoL cell phones,
but is also a destination that refurbished phones (recycled phone) flow to (Jang and Kim,
2010), thus it is introduced into the recyclingprocess as a quite significant player for western
countries researchs.
The wholecomplicated system is described in fig 4(Pagell et al., 2007).
2.3 Factors and methods
The whole recycling process includes 3 parts, each part has different participants. For
different participants, the factors that will influence their behaviour may not the same. This
part will discuss these impacts and analyse the methods in some countries.

2.3.1 The first step: collection

Investment and benefits
Economic benefit is one of the important factors that motivates individual take part in
different group behaviour. The recycling fees is a good example for this, recycling fees
include two parts: the money that the third-party recyclers have to pay for obtaining the
phone; and the money that consumers have to pay for recycling the phone (Silveira and
Chang, 2010). The money that the third-party recyclers have to pay is recycling system
construction funds and the money paid to consumers when they take back the end-of-use
cell phone to them (Silveira and Chang, 2010). The money that consumers have to pay
represents the money they pay for the recycling activities, such as transportation and EoL
cell phone disposing process (Silveira and Chang, 2010), but this is not a significant part for
recycling system. In many countries, especially in some developed countries consumers
have to pay recycling fee for dealing with EoL cell phone (Kahhat et al., 2008).In Japan,
people pay this fee when recycle it, that means people are enforced to give money to
recycler when they take old phone to EoL cell phone collection point, it is called the predisposal fee (PDF); and in Switzerland, consumers pay this fee when they buy a phone, it is
called advanced recycling fee (ARF) (Khetriwal et al., 2009).
Some countries modify this process into a visible fee oran inbuilt fee, which is similar to the
process mentioned, but they become a part of single product price, retailers incorporate
the recycling fee in the total price when they fix the price (Khetriwal et al., 2009).This
method adds a source of funds of recycling EoL cell phone, lightening the burden on the
government. But these methods, especially PDF and ARF needthe public to have higher
environmental awareness.

To improve recycling participation enthusiasm, a depositrefund policy is adopted by United

States (Silveira and Chang, 2010). It is known as the bottle bill, people will get some
refund when they take back used bottles (Silveira and Chang, 2010). Inspired by bottle bill,
recyclersstimulate consumers take back the EoL cell phone with a financial incentive, such
as cash payment, discounts, store credits, prize draws, environmental incentives, mobile
phone airtimes, and mobile phone bill discounts, all of this methods also have been used in
the UK (Silveira and Chang, 2010, Ongondo and Williams, 2011, Canning, 2006).
Unlike the bottle bill which aims at improving the consumer recycling participation rate,
the extended producer responsibility (EPR) is used for extending the manufacturers
responsibilities to all phases of the products lifecycle, especially to the take-back, recovery,
and final EoL cell phone treatment. It includes product take-back programs, regulatory
approaches (e.g. minimum product standards, prohibitions of certain hazardous materials or
products, disposal bans and mandated recycling), voluntary industry practices (such as
labelling) and Economic instruments (depositrefund schemes et al.)(Co-operation and
Development, 2001). For example, European Union (EU) limits the recovery rate that
producers must comply with and restrictions to the use of hazardous substances (Silveira
and Chang, 2010).

Based on EPR, South Korea uses a method that increases the consumers co-responsibility; it
requires cell phone manufacturers and importers to deposit to the government the
recycling fee which is partially refundable at the end of the year according to the number of
electronics they recycled over the year (Silveira and Chang, 2010).


Depending on different recycling systems, there are different actors responsible for
collection, most of them are: retailers, network providers, manufacturers, charities and
importers(Silveira and Chang, 2010, Canning, 2006). Most people do not want to spend too
much time on cell phone recycling, if the methods for participating in recycling is convenient
enough, the proportion of EoL cell phone recycling will increase (Ongondo and Williams,
2011). Based on this, recyclers provide many time-saving methods to consumers, e.g.
collection sites, pre-paid postage envelop, free bags, free boxes and courier collection. Take
the free bag option as an example, it is given to consumer when they buy a cell phone, or
wants to recycle an old phone, the staff of recyclers will go to collect the EoL cell phone in a
certain date, the thing that consumer have to do is just put the old phone in that bag. Proof
by facts, free bag account for around 70% of EoL cell phone among all the method in the
UK(Ongondo and Williams, 2011).
Advertising and the knowledge of cell phone recycling
The amount of EoL cell phone recycling knowledge of consumers will influence behaviour
(do Valle et al., 2004, Pagell et al., 2007). More consumers know about EoLcell phone
recycling, more willing they want to take part in cell phone recycling. Thus advertising is an
important way to deliver the relevant knowledge to the public and to encourage people to
participate in recycling activities (Ongondo and Williams, 2011).According to this, recycling
likely to be thought of as a marketing problem, though an effective marketing tool, the
proportion of EoL cell phone will grow up(Shrum et al., 1994), recycling advertisement in the
street and on websites are good example for applying of this principle.


Individual characteristics
Consumer background includes many things like culture, gender, income, education and
occupation choice. Different background may have different buying behaviour and recycling
behaviour. Some researchhas found that younger people prefer participating in EoL cell
phone recycling (Oskamp et al., 1991), however, some research contradicts this, finding that
people in the age group of 40-64 have the highest percentage of recycling participation
(Tonglet et al., 2004a);most of research find that females recycle more(Tonglet et al., 2004b,
Lindsay and Strathman, 1997); lastly recycling is found to increase with the level of
education (Vining et al., 1992, Saltzman et al., 1993).
Trend of cell phone
The destination of EoL cell phone of cell phone is another reason for motivating people
towards recycling activities(Ongondo and Williams, 2011).For example, donating to charity
or disposal in the factory, is more important for some philanthropists. Thus giving
consumers feedback of the final destination of these EoL cell phone timely, accurately and
truly will improve their motivation(Ongondo and Williams, 2011).

2.3.2 The second and third step: pre-treatment at recycling facilities and back to market
Product design
Though this work finished before cell phone production, it is a very important factor that
will influence cell phone recycling cost and disassembly system(Pagell et al., 2007). A good
design towards easier disposal methodology can make the disassemble process easier and
cost less, and a more eco-friendly design, like using less toxic metals, and using more
degradable materials will helpful (Tanskanen, 2013).


Technology and supply management

The process of EoL cell phone treatment is complex, technology dictates the cost of the
whole process and the quality of products(Tanskanen, 2013, Geyer and Blass, 2010). Not
only that, technological development can make the unrecyclable materials becomes
recyclable. In the addition, supply chain management can help this process follow peoples
requirements (Pagell et al., 2007), and make it more marketable, making the recycling more
efficiency under the same technological level.
2.4 hat factors will influence consumer buying behavior
As discussed in the previous part, besides recycling behavior, consumer buying behavior
influences the generation of e-waste as well. When consumers want to buy or change a new
phone, different people will have different reason or motivation.
Brand is an important factor than consumer will concern when they buy a new phone
(Mingxia et al., 2006, Petruzzellis, 2010). Brand does not only represent the manufacturer of
the product, but also represent the overall style and differentiation from other products on
the market(Muniz Jr and Oguinn, 2001). In 7 years ago, Nokia had a worldwide market
share of 41% in 2007 (Chang et al., 2009), but now, iPhone and Samsung become the most
popular brand, high speed of products renewal makes them have many loyal users, and the
new product release conference per year makes consumer replace their cell phone faster.


Appearance is another consideration for consumer, this effect seems more obvious among
younger and female consumer(Creusen and Schoormans, 2005). Aesthetic responds is a
personal feeling, but it pertains to the pleasure derived from seeing the product(Creusen
and Schoormans, 2005), and that motivate consumer to buy the product. The effort of
improving appearance from manufactures, to help consumer get better visual perception, is
the best example to prove the importance of appearance.
Price is the most undisputed factor that will influence consumer buying behavior. Based on
income effect theory, discretionary spending is spending money on non-essential goods
(Baber et al., 1991), thus people have higher income will do more of this. Gross disposable
household income per head in the UK has increase nearly 71% in the past 18 years, and
telephone price is the same with 18 year, and this price even decreased during 2005 and
2010 (ONS, 2013). That means cell phone price is decreasing refer to income. Besides that,
price is a tool for describing willing to pay (WTP) and willing to accept (WTA), and the gap
between WTP and WTA will influence the consumer buying decision, if this gap is too big,
consumer may give up this product and try to find alternative (Horowitz and McConnell,
Technology is the key part of electronic product, for many consumers, it is a significant
factor for making a decision. however, male and female may have different view point of
the importance of technology, it seems male more care about technology of a cell phone,
and this gap may also appear among different age groups (Singh and Goyal, 2009).


Among all these factors that will influence consumer buying behaviour, the degree of
importance may different for different backgrounds, like age, gender and income(Barber et
al., 2006). This differencescause consumers make different buying decisions.

3. Overall objectives and aims

Because of EoL cell phone will threat the environment, and the number of these EoL cell
phone is influence by consumer buying behavior and recycling behavior, this dissertation
will try to find out the relationship between four factors (age, gender, income and job) and
EoL cell phone production. It will be analyzed with two parts: the first part is about how
these four factor influence the quantity of phone in circulation, this will focus on consumer
buying behavior; the second part will concentrate in how these 4 factors influence the
quantity of recycled EoL cell phone, this part is about consumer recycling behavior.
Consumer buying behavior seeks to find out what factors will have an impact on consumers
motivation to replace their phone (longevity of use),however, unlike other research that
analyzes data between factors and age of phone, contract choice is introduced in this
analysis by the following aims:
Consumer buying behavior will follow the steps below:

At the point of purchase which factors influence choice most?

How strong is the relationship between each of the factors and contract choice? In
particular what benefits accrue to recycling from consumers taking a contract as
opposed to a pay as you go arrangement?

Is there evidence that contract choice shortens the longevity of the phone?


Consumers recycling behavior will follow the steps below:

The relationship between four factors and recycling decision;

The relationship between four factors and motivation for recycling.

4. Methodology

As discussed, consumers influence the amount of e-waste significantly, especial the number
ofEoL cell phone: their buying behaviour decide the quantity of cell phone in the market,
and influencing the rate of EoL cell phone recycling as well. Since consumers influence ewaste in two ways, this survey will include two parts, the one for defining what factors and
to what extent that influence consumer buying behaviour, the other one for defining what
factors and to what extent that motivate consumer to participate in cell phone recycling.
4.1 The test area: Norwich
Norwich is the county town of Norfolk in east England. Based on the data from Norwich city
council, there are 134,300 people live in the Norwich city council area, 30.6% of population
is under 25 years old, and 17 % is more than 65. Median earning in Norwich is 9.82, and
unemployment rate is 4.7% (Norwich city council, 2014). The household recycling rate was
16% in 2005 in Norwich, and this rate improved to 40% in 2012, which the fast increase in
Norfolk country (Norwich city council, 2012).
4.2 Questionnaire design
This research get data by doing a survey and it combines online survey and face to face
survey methods. This method was selected because although online surveys are easier to


administer and are expected to get results immediately, the disadvantage of the online
survey is that it biases the response rate towards younger respondents, due to the fact that,
older people use computers or smart phones less. Therefore, A face to face survey aims at
older people.
The survey took place in Norwich, from 25th June to 3rd July. Since this period is peak tourist
season, some of respondents are not local residents, and some student respondents are
international students. Though not all of them are local residents, the result consistent with
knowledge about cell phone usage.
Based on the previous researches and the aims of this research, the questionnaire, which
shows in appendix, is designed with 12 questions, they can be divided into several sections.
Individual characteristics
Question 1,2,11 and 12 aim at the background (age, gender, income and occupation) of
respondents, they are important variables in the research. Respondents are asked to write
down the exact age, choose the gender; and income and occupation are shown by options.
Personal buying attitude and behaviour
In question 3, respondents are asked to write down the age of their phone. Most
Respondents cannot remember the age of last phone, thus this question ask the age of
current phone, and it represents the lifetime of cell phone to a certain extent.
Thought question 4, 5 and 6, the contract choice of respondents can be known, that shows
how people buy a cell phone: buy cell phone with contract or pay as you go.


Question 10 is about the factors that influence respondents cell phone buying behaviour,
respondents are asked to rank them like question 9. These factors are brand, appearance,
price, value added features (such as apps), coral technical and post-purchase service (such
as 3G or 4G).
Personal recycling attitude and behaviour
Question 7 and 8 show respondents attitude of recycling: after contract goes to end, will
respondent extend the contract or have a new contract to get a new cell phone; and when
they want to change new phone, will they recycle the old cell phone or do nothing, just put
it in the drawer?
In question 9, respondents are asked to rank the factors (benefit, convenience,
advertisement, relevant knowledge, and trend of cell phone or other reasons) that motivate
them to recycle the EoL cell phone. It covers most of reasons that motivate people
participate in recycling.
In question 9 and 10, people rank the factors, 1 represents most important for them, and 5
the least important.
After got respondents, results will be analysed with two parts: consumer buying behaviour
and consumer recycling behaviour. In consumer buying behaviour part, the relationship
between five factors (age, gender, income, job and age of phone) and contract choice, the
relationship between contract choice and age of phone, the relationship between six factors
(brand, appearance etc.) and buying behaviour will be analysed. In consumer recycling
behaviour, the relationship between four factors and recycling choice, the relationship


between six motivations (benefit, convenience etc.) and recycling behaviour will be
4.3 Analysis method and model design
Part 1: consumer buying behaviour
The relationship between the factors and contract choice
The lifetime of a cell phone is a big issue for e-waste management, short replacement time
and generation may increase the amount of e-waste. Most research finds relationship
between different factors and the life span of the phone (Birditt et al., 2005). However,
contract choice appears to be one of the main way for purchasing a cell phone, thus I
introduce contract related information into this research to help explain the longevity of cell
phone use.
A binary (has a contract or does not have one) regression analysis will be used to define the
determinants of contract choice. More specifically, it will define whether and to what extent
age, gender, income and jobs are relevant to consumer contract choice. Besides this, based
on some previous researches, age and gender may interact each other as well, thus this
interaction should be concerned in the end.
There are three steps for this analysis: firstly, define the relationship by binary regression;
secondly, assign all the variables in dummy variables; thirdly, introducing interaction term,
which is dummy variable of age times dummy variable of gender, into the formula in the
second step.
In each step, a formula will be gotten, and the form of this formula shows below:


Y1 = m + aX1 + bX2 + cX3 + dX4 + eX5 + fX6

Y1: Dependent variable and it is contract choice in this equation;
m: Constant ;
a, b, c, d, e, f: coefficient ;
X1: Independent variable, which is age in this equation;
X2: Independent variable, which is gender in this equation;
X3: Independent variable, which is income in this equation;
X4: Independent variable, which is job in this equation;
X5: Independent variable, which is age of phone in this equation;
X6: Independent variable, which is age*gender, this one is just introduced in the last formula.
The relationship between age of phone and contract choice
The impact of contract choice on the age of the phone will be analysed in this step.Since
contract choice is binary variable, it is not suitable for using regression method. Levene test
and T test will be uses to describe the different, and in the end, a table will be given, it
shows how and to what extent contract choice will influence the age of phone.
The relationship between individual characteristics and buying concerns
The order of different buying concerns in for different individual characteristics will be
analysed by means. Each individual characteristic will be divided into several groups as said
in the beginning, and the means will be showed as each group.
Part 2: Consumer recycling behaviour


In this part, two analyses will be done: the relationship between four factors and choice of
recycling; the relationship between recycling motivations order.
The relationship between four factors and choice of recycling
This analysis is similar with the analysis of relationship between four factors and contract
choice. It will be divided into three steps as well: firstly, defining the relationship between
four factors and choice of recycling by a binary regression; secondly, transfer all the normal
variables to dummy variables; thirdly, introducing interaction into the formula in the second
step. Each step will have a formula like previous analysis, and the formula shows below:
Y2 = n + gZ1 + hZ2 + iZ3 + jZ4 + kZ5
Y2: Dependent variable and it is recycling choice in this equation;
n: Constant ;
g, h, i, j, k: coefficient ;
Z1: Independent variable, which is age in this equation;
Z2: Independent variable, which is gender in this equation;
Z3: Independent variable, which is income in this equation;
Z4: Independent variable, which is job in this equation;
Z5: Independent variable, which is age*gender, this one is just introduced in the last formula.
The relationship between individual characteristics and recycling motivations
This analysis is similar with the analysis of relationship between individual characteristics
and buying concerns, both of them are asked respondents to rank the factors, thus the
method of comparison of average score will be used in this step.


In this methodology part, there are three things need to be explained:

The first is about the definition of all the dummy variables. Dummy variable has only two
values: 0 and 1. Age, income and job are the variables have more than 2 groups, thus they
have to be divided into 2 groups, like younger group, older group; low-income group, highincome group; unestablished job group and established job group.
Based on some literatures about technology acceptance and recycling acceptance, the
standard of distinguish younger age group and older age group is 40. People younger than
around 40 and older than around 40 will have different technology acceptance(Hong et al.,
2013), and people have different recycling behaviour between younger than 40 group and
older than 40 group (Derksen and Gartrell, 1993).
The standard of income division is 30k.From the data of office for national statistics, the
average salary in the UK is 26500 (ONS,2014), since the question about income is choice
question, we cannot get exact income and decide 30k as standard by rounding-off method.
About job, it is divided into disestablished job and established job. Disestablished jobs
include student, first full-time job and looking for a job. Because of people do not have
established job, they do not steady income, they may have different expectation for the
future life, thus they may have different behaviour.
The second question need to explain is about significant value in regression. Based on the
normal analysis method, significant test should be done before all analysis, and remove
insignificant factors. However, due to the inevitable restrictions in research, this study has
some limitation. For example, misdistribution of age, misdistribution of occupation, and
simple size is not big enough. Thus the formula will include all the factors to explain the


trend, but the insignificant factors will be pointed out and talked about in the discussion
The third one is about significance test in sorting problem. Most researches do a significance
test after comparing means. Since sample size is not big enough, and the gap of each means
is not big enough for passing the significance test. However, these factors which will not
pass the significance test can still explain some problem. Thus two sorting problems will be
analysed by method of comparison of means.

5. Data and descriptive statistics

The range of respondentsage is from 17 to 59 which covers most of cell phone use
population, and it is divided into 8 groups as shown in Table 1. There are five income groups
and four occupation categories. All respondents are asked to provide the exact age, and
choose gender, income range and type of job.
During this survey, 155 questionnaires were sent out, 119 were recollected, and the
respond rate was 76.77%. The ratio of male and female is balanced. About age, 27 % of
respondents are under 25 years old, and the percentage of over 50 years old is 10.9%. 45.4%
of respondents earn 20k - 30k per year, and more than 40k income group were underrepresented which only accounts for 1.7%, that may because high income earners have less
willing to participate in EoL cell phone recycling, and that is more likely because high income
earners account for little percentage of population. The percentage of respondents have
established job is 71.4% which is the most, and the second one is student (18.5%),


thegroups of respondents have first full time job and is looking for a job account for 7.6%
and 2.5% respectively, which are not representatively.
Table 1: Data statistics

The results of buying behaviour part show in tables 2.

About contract choice, males seem more willing to choose cell phone contract, 26 males buy
cell phones with contract, which is 7 people more than females. About different age, group of
older than 50 has the lowest percentage for choosing contract, which is only one will do that,
on the contrast, group of age 31-35 has the most people to choose a contract which is 10.
Income seems influence consumers contract choice significantly, people who earn less than
30k per year are prefer choosing contract s when they buy cell phones. About different


occupations, the data of student and group of looking for a job are outstanding, more than
half have contracts with their cell phone, and there is no unemployed choose cell phone
Table 2: Relationship individual characteristics and contract choice

Table 3: Relationship of Contract choice and age of phone


Table 3 shows the distribution of phone age with months depend on different contract
choice. When people have a contract with their phone, nine of them will use their phone
more than two years, and 18 people in pay as you go group will use cell phone more than
two years.
Table 4: Distribution of the most important factor for buying cell phones

A = Brand; B = Appearance;C = Price;

D = Added value feature;E = Core technological feature;
F = Post-purchase service; G = Student;H = First full-time job;
I = looking for a job;J = Established job.


Table 5 shows the number of the distribution of the most important factor for different
individual characteristic group. There are 19 males choose brand as the most important
factor when they buy cell phones, which is 3 more than females. For different age group, 10
people in 26-30 age group choose brand as the most important concern. For student,
technology seems important, 5 of them choose added valued feature as their the most
important cell phone buying concern, and 6 of them choose core technological feature for
the most significant one.

The data of recycling behaviour shows in table 5 and 6.

In table 5, people with different individual characteristics have different recycling choice.
Females have a much higher percentage to recycle which is more than 50%; however, only
28 males are willing to recycle that is less than 50%. About different age, people, who are
26-35 years old, are not enthusiastic about recycling as people in other age group. The
difference about recycling attitude is obvious with different income. There are 24 and 33
people will recycle in <=20 and 20-30 group in respectively, and there is only 5 people will
recycle EoL cell phone when they earn more than 40k per year.


Table 5: Relationship of different individual characteristics and recycling choice.

*denotes (put in a drawer)


Table 6: distribution of the most important factor for recycling EoL cell phone

A = Benefit;
B = Convenience;
C = Advertisement;
D = Relevant knowledge;
E = Trend of phone;
As shown in table 6, 24 males choose convenience as the most significant factor for
recycling, which is four more than females. In different age group, group 41-45 has the most
people choose the convenience, which 10, and this number in more than 50 years group is 8.
About income, in group of less than 20k, 29 people think benefit rank benefit as the first


one, on the contrast, in group more than 40k, no one choose benefit as the most
important on. And for different occupations, 41 people in established job group choose
convenience as the most important, which is 18 more than benefit. However, in student
group, 18 people think benefit motivates them most, and convenience is the most
important for only one student.

6. Results

6.1 Introduction
To define the relationship between EoL cell phone generation and individual characteristics,
this research did analysis with two parts: how individual characteristics influence consumers
buying behaviour, and how they decide the amount of retired cell phone; and how
individual characteristics influence consumers recycling behaviour, and how they decide
the amount of recycled phone.
About the first part, it has 3 steps, and will get an equations and two tables: the first step is
about the relationship between individual characteristics and contract choice, it will get an
equation which includes dummy variables and interaction variable; the second step is about
the relationship between contract choice and age of phone, it will get a t test result table in
the end; the third step is about the relationship between individual characteristics and
different buying concerns, in this step, a table of means for each factor will be gotten.
In terms of the second part, it has 2 steps, and it will get an equation and a table: the first is
about the relationship between individual characteristics and recycling decision, this step is
similar with the first step in the first part, an equation which is introduced dummy variables


and interaction will be gotten. The second step is about the relationship between individual
characteristics and different recycling motivations, like did in previous part, the means of
each factor shows in the table.
All of these processes will be done with SPSS. SPSS is a good tool for doing analysis after
entering all the data in the software and it will give constant and all coefficients for the
equation. Theseequationscan explain how and to what extent the independent variable will
influence the dependent variable. Besides this, SPSS can be also used for getting means for
two sorting questions, and these tables have been showed in data and statistics part as
table 3 and table 5.
6.2 Research expectations
Based on the previous researches and past experiences, research expectations show below:
Consumer buying behaviour

Younger people, male, lower income earners and people who have established job
are more willing to have contracts.

People buy cell phones with contracts may have shorter phone age.

Price is the most important factor when consumers buy cell phones.

Consumer recycling behaviour

Older people, female, lower income earners and people do not have established job
are more likely to participate in EoL cell phone recycling.

Benefit is the most important motivation for recycling.


6.3 Analysis results

6.3.1 Consumer buying behaviour analysis
The relationship between individual characteristics and contract choice
The first step: using binary regression method to analyse the data
Contract choice is binary variable (have a contract or have no contract), thus using binary
regression method. Dependent variable is contract choice (0 represents have no contract,
and 1 means have a contract), and independent variables are age, gender, income,
occupation and age of phone. The result of binary logistic regression shows below:
Table 7: Results of contract choice and individual characteristics

In a binary regression,Cox & Snell R square and Nagelkerke R square replace R square in
linear regression, which represents the fitting degree of formula, and the value of them in
this equation are 0.108 and 0.147. By comparing the observed value and predicted value in
classification table, the overall value of percentage correct is 68.9%, which is medium
accuracy rate. Depending on the data in above table, the regression formula is:
Y = 1.157 0.015*X1 0.769*X2 0.04*X3 0.318*X4 + 0.061*X5


X1: age
X2: gender
X3: income
X4: occupation
X5: age of phone
The second step: introducing dummy variables for binary regression
Transfer all independent variables to dummy variables: younger age group (younger than 40)
is 0, older age group is 1; male is 0 and female is 1; lower income group (less than 30k) is 0,
higher income group is 1; unestablished job group (student, first full-time job and looking a
job) is 0 and established group is 1; longer age of phone (more than 24 months) is 1 and
shorter age of phone is 0. The result show in table 7:
Table 8: Results of contract choice and dummy variables of individual characteristics


As it did in first step, the value of Cox & Snell R square and Nagelkerke R square are 0.064
and 0.088 respectively, the overall value of percentage correct is 66.4%, which is medium
accuracy rate. The regression formula for this step is:
Y = 1.493 0.561*X10.721*X2 0.638*X3 0.342*X4 + 0.457*X5
The third step: introducing interaction for binary regression
As discussed in previous parts, age and gender may interact each other in the equation, thus
interaction is introduced into the equation. Using age (dummy variable) times gender
(dummy variable) as interaction, which is the sixth independent variable. The result shows
Table 9: Results of contract choice and individual characteristics with interaction

The value of Cox & Snell R square and Nagelkerke R square are 0.064 and 0.088 respectively
after introducing the interaction, and the overall value of percentage correct is 66.4%, it is a
medium accuracy as well. The final equation of this analysis is:
Y = 1.495 0.567*X1 0.722*X2 0.638*X3 0.342*X4 + 0.457*X5 + 0.04*X6


X6 = interaction
Signs of each factor are the same in previous two equations, based on these signs, younger
people, males, lower income earners and unestablished worker are more willing to
choose contract when they buy cell phones. Besides this, people who have a longer
phone age prefer contract as well.
After introducing interaction of age*gender in to the formula, the sign of this interaction is
positive, which means older female are more willing to choose contract. However, the
significant value of interaction value is 0.996, which means this factor nearly has no impacts
on contract choice, thus it can be thought that there is no interaction between age and
gender. Thus the second equation is the most suitable formula for describe the relationship
between individual characteristics.
In terms of the significance value, none of them is less than 0.05, which means none of them
have significant impacts on contract choice. It is not support by previous researches.
And this result may caused by the small sample size. However, there are still some
results can be gotten from significance values. Gender has the smallest significance
value which means it has the most significant impacts on contract choice. Ranking by
this way, the second significant factor is age, and then are income, phone age and
The relationship between age of phone and contract choice


Table 10: the result of levene test and t test of age of phone and contract choice

Table 9 shows that the significant value is 0.012, which means contract choice will influence
age of phone significantly, and the means of phone age in have contract group and have no
contract is showed in table 10:
Table 11: the result of means of phone age with different contract choice

The means of phone age in pay as you go group is 16.1081, and this value in contract group
is 19.7556. By the help of levene test and t test, the different of phone age between
contract group and have no contract group is obvious, and people who buy cell phones with
contract have longer phone age, in another words, contract help people extent phone age
to a certain extent.


The relationship between different individual characteristics and buying concerns

Table 12: Means of each buying concerns in different individual characteristics

As shown in table 11, males are more care about technology part (added value features and
core technology feature), the means of added value feature and core technology feature are
2.52 and 2.69 respectively, and the means of them are 3.09 and 3.17 in female group.
However, it seems females are easier attracted by good appearance and lower price, the
means of these two factors are 3.34 and 3.14, which are around 0.5 lower than male.
An obvious result is that price attracts less and less attention with age grows up, and the
importance level of brand is increasing gently with the age. The means of price in the age


group of under 20 is 2.83, and it grows to 4.15 in over than 50 age group. On the contrast,
the means of brand is 3.75 for the youngest group, which is around 1.3 lower than the
oldest group. That means younger people have much higher price sensitive than older
people, and older people are much more focus on brand than younger peole.
About different income, the average score of price is growing with income, which is 3.50 for
people earn more than 40k per year, and only 2.83 in less than 20k income group.
However, higher income earner group have a lower means of brand, which is 1 in >40k
group, and this value in <=20k is 3.77. This shows that the higher income people earn, the
more they will care about brand, and the less care about price.
People have different job may have different demand for cell phone. The value of brand in
the group of looking for jobs is 5.33, which is one time more than the value in established
group. And the value of price is 2.00 for the group of looking for a job, established group has
the highest means which is 3.67. In another words, people do not have established job will
more care about price, and less focus on brand, and this situation is opposite in established
job group.

6.3.2 Consumer recycling behaviour

1. The relationship between individual characteristics and recycling choice.
The first step: using binary regression to analyse the data.
It is similar with the method did in the first step of individual characteristics and contract
choice analysis. Recycling choice is binary variable (recycle or do not recycle), and it will be
dependent variable, thus binary regression will be used, 0 represents do not recycle and 1


represents recycle. Independent variables are age, gender, income and occupation. The
result shows below:
Table 13: Result of recycling choice and individual characteristic

The meanings of all the values are the same with the values in consumer buying behaviour
part. The value of Cox & Snell R square and Nagelkerke R square are 0.086 and 0.15
respectively, and the value of percentage correct is 69.7%, it is a medium accuracy rate. The
equation for this step is:
Y2 = -0.459 + 0.046*Z1 + 0.066*Z2 0.910*Z3 + 0.077*Z4
X1: age
X2: gender
X3: income
X4: Occupation

The second step: Transfer independent variables to dummy variables


All the independent will be transferred to dummy variables, and the standard of dividing
them into different group is the same as previous, and result show in table 12:
Table 14: Results of recycling choice and dummy variables of individual characteristics

The value of Cox & Snell R square and Nagelkerke R square are 0.083 and 0.111 respectively,
and the value of percentage correct is 64.7%, it is medium accuracy rate as well. The
formula of this step shows below:
Y2 = -0.039 + 0.802*Z1 0.025*Z2 1.342*Z3 0.414*Z4
The third step: introducing interaction for binary regression.
The interaction of age * gender will be introduced into binary regression as another
independent variable. The result show below:


Table 15: Results of recycling choice and individual characteristics with interaction

The value of Cox & Snell R square and Nagelkerke R square are 0.097 and 0.131 respectively,
and the value of percentage correct is 63.0% which is medium accuracy rate. The formula is:
Y2 = 0.581 0.936*Z1 0.380 *Z2 1.153 *Z3 0.458 *Z4+ 1.168*Z5
After introducing dummy variables into formula, the signs of occupation changed; and when
add interaction in the formula, comparing with the second formula, the signs of age and
occupation changed. This may because of multi co-lineation or other complicated reasons
exist in the formula. Thus the result can be only gotten by comparing with other researches.
Based on the results of most researches about recycling behavior, older people are more
willing to recycle (Vencatasawmy et al., 2000, Williams and Kelly, 2003), that might because
they have higher environment concerns (Derksen and Gartrell, 1993), thus age have positive
impacts on recycling behavior. About different recycling choice between genders, most of
results point out that females may have higher recycling participation rate, this may caused
by beliefs and economic incentive(Stern et al., 1993, Knussen et al., 2004). For the impacts
of income, because higher price sensitive, almost all the researches think that low income


earners care less about environmental issues, but have higher recycling behavior (Margai,
1997). Income has negative impacts on consumer recycling behavior. The significance value
of occupation are more than 0.4, thus the difference between two occupation groups is not
obvious, and some researches proved that occupation has no or very little impacts on
recycling behavior(Derksen and Gartrell, 1993). Based on different signs and accuracy rate in
each equation, the first formula may be the best one to describe the relationship between
different individual characteristics and recycling behavior.
The relationship between different individual characteristics and recycling motivations
Table 16:Means of each recycling motivation with different individual characteristics


As shown in table 5, both the means of benefit are quite low for male and female, which are
1.50 and 2.44 respectively. The means of relevant knowledge are 2.64 and 2.78 for men and
women respectively, which is the second lowest factor on average. That means price and
relevant knowledge are both important for males and females, and males are more care
about economic benefit when they participate in recycling.
For age groups 41-45 and 46-50, the means of convenience are much lower than other age
group, both of them are less than 2, and this value is even 1.31 in the age group of 41-45.
For older people, trend of EoL cell phone have a lower means, and it is 2.77 in the group
over than 50, on the contrary, the means of benefit is much higher than means of trend of
EoL cell phone, which is 3.77. That means, with the increase of age, convenience and trend
of EoL cell phone are becoming more and more important for people,
Different income makes people have different attitudes when they are facing recycling.
Lower income earners have a lower means of benefit than other group which is 1.40; this is
3.7 lower than the values in 40k group. The factor of convenience has an opposite
tendency, which is 1.50 for >40k group and 3.03 for <20k. That means, with income
enhance, convenience is more and more important, and benefit has an opposite trend.
For each occupation group, all motivations are not outstanding except benefit and
convenience. People who are looking for a job are more attracted by benefit, which is 1.00.
On the contrast, the means of convenience is 4.33 for them. And these values in established
group are 2.92 and 1.93 respectively, it means established employees have less sensitive
about price and more care about convenience.


7. Discussion

7.1Discussion of Consumer buying behavior

Consumer behavior researches has developed as a theory, it wants to find out a good way to
predict human behavior (Howard, 1977). Thus can makes human activities, especially
economic activity more efficiency (Howard, 1977). Introducing consumer behavior model
into EoL recycling, because recycling activities is influenced by the public significantly
(Thgersen, 1995), and it can also use some market methods to improve recycling rate
(Shrum et al., 1994).
Discussion of the relationship between individual characteristics and phone age
Among all the factors, the most significant factor is gender, and males prefer choosing
contract. This may because of males have a higher innovation acceptance and
technology acceptance (Gefen and Straub, 1997). They are more willing to try new
thing. The first cell phone published in 1970s, it was a luxury product at that time.
However, the amount of cell phones per 100 people was increasing sharply from this
century (ONS, 2012), it has become necessary for life, and even become an
important part in CPI. Contract came out with the number of cell phone consumer
explosion, and network providers want to use this methodto attract these a lot of
cell phone consumers, and the history of cell phone contract is around just 10 years.
As discussed before, males have a higher innovation acceptance, thus they have a
higher percentage for accept this new thing.


This percentage may even higher in some other countries (such as China). For attracting
more consumers, some network providers monopolize some popular cell phones in
the market, thus consumers can just buy these cell phone with contract. A good
example is about iPhone4 in Chinese market. China Unicom, which is the second
biggest service provider in China, got exclusionary sell right of iPhone4, signing a
contract with this service provider was the only way for getting this popular cell
phone at that time. Males have much stronger will to try new thing, especially this
new high technology product, thus they will sign the contract to get popular cell
The second significant factor is age, and younger people are more willing to choose
contract. About people have different contract choice in different age, the reason
may the same with gender group. Younger people have a better learning ability
(Barab and Plucker, 2002) and technology acceptance (Gefen and Straub, 1997).
However, based on the significance value, the influence from different age is much
less than it from different genders. In some other researches, this gap is not quite
obvious. That may caused by sampling distribution. Most of younger people in the
sample are student, and international students account for nearly 50%. Most of
these international students will not change their cell phone during this short study
period. Thus age does not influence contract choice as obvious as gender.
Lower income earners have higher percentage to choose contract, and based on the
significance value, it is similar with age group, and both of them are around 0.24. The
reason for this result is lower income earners are more sensitive with price (Ivanic
and Martin, 2008). After comparing the price of different buying methods, people


realized that buying cell phone with contract is cheaper. For example, if consumers
buy an iPhone 5S with contract, they should pay 38 per monthly, and this contract
lasts 24 months. From this contract, they can get cell phone, unlimited call & text,
and 2GB data (O2, 2014); in total, they should pay 912 in these two years. However,
if consumers buy iPhone 5S in apple store, they should pay 549 for cell phone, and
pay for another 22 per month for network, finally, they will pay 1077 in two
years.After calculating, the gap of two ways is nearly 150, which is much enough to
attract lower income earners to choose contract when they change new cell phones.
Besides this, based on income effect, lower income earners spend higher percentage of
their income on food, water, house and some other necessities. Thus, they have less
money for changing new phone frequently. They use cell phones around or even
more than 2 years, but for high income earner, this time may much shorter. This may
a reason for less high income earner want to choose contract.
The least significant factor is occupation, unestablished worker prefer buying cell phone
with contract. This may cause by the gap of different income. After introducing
dummy variables into binary regression, respondents are divided into two
occupation groups, unestablished job and established job. And unestablished job
includes student, first full-time job and looking for a job. Students and people who
are looking for a job have no income; and depending on the data from ONS, the
wages for 20 years old worker is only 6.00, and for 40 years old workers, the
average wage is 10.63 (ONS, 2014), thus the income of first full-time worker is low.
As the reason discussed in previous paragraph, people who have a lower income will


have a higher price sensitive, thus unestablished workers are more interested in
However, it can be seen that the impact of different occupation is not as significant as that
of income. Even in established group, the gap of different income is quite big, that is
caused by industrial income gap. In addition, the buying behavior of student may
influenced by their parents income, though some of them have no income, but they
can still buy some expensive product or buy cell phone without contract by their
parents money.
The last factor for this equation is phone age, it seems that people who use cell phone for
longer time are more likely to choose contract. The reason of this result will be
discussed in the next paragraph, because it is about the relationship between phone
age and contract choice. However, though it can be analysed in the next part, this
factor is useful in this equation: introducing more relevant factors into the equation
can make equation more accurate.
In this part, there is a difference between result and expectation, in expectation, established
employee may prefer choosing contract, however the fact is the contract choosing
percentage is higher in unestablished group. This may because of different degree of
influence. If people sign a contract, they should pay for contract fee monthly for a
long time (usually it is 2 years), thus people do not have an established job may think
about the income change in the future. Obviously, this reason is not more important
than cheaper price, thus the result is opposite to expectation.
Discussion of phone age and contract choice


Though, in the previous discussion, buying cell phone with contract is cheaper than prepayment method, in the survey, 45 of 119 respondents have a contract, and 74
respondents buy the cell phone without contract. This result can be proved by
another research in Spain: only 36.2% respondents have cell phone contract in that
survey. Buying cell phone with contract is not as attractive as expectation. Research
of relationship between phone age and contract choice is lacking, thus there is no
enough datato analyse the reasons for it.
In this research, this relationship is analysed by levene test and t test, and result is clear and
obvious: people who have contracts have longer phone age; by another words, contract is a
useful tool to help consumer extending the phone age. This result seem relevant with the
previous analysis: people use phone longer are more willing to choose contract.
These two analyses are relevant, and both of them proved that contract is relevant with
longer phone age.
In the previous part, people use phone shorter are less possible to choose contract;
however, this analysis shows that if they choose contract, contract may let them
keeping using cell phone till contract end. That may because economic incentive as
well: they have to pay for the whole contract period, thus they do not want to
change new phone, otherwise they will waste of money.
Discussion of individual characteristics and buying concern
Means of each concern describe how and to what extend that different individual
characteristics influence cell phone buying behavior.


Comparing with the data in this research and the results ofsame research did in India in five
years ago, the results of these two research is similar.(Singh and Goyal, 2009).
Among all the factors, brand is the most important one, and even more important than
technology. In the current market, brand does not only represent producer, it can be
powerful symbolic products, can cause some social impact, and provoking
considerable loyalty(Muniz Jr and Oguinn, 2001).Many researches focus on brand,
and point it out that a good brand can bring more to consumer than product itself
(Petruzzellis, 2010), and it can even develop a certain identity (Kapferer, 2012).The
sensitive of brand is increasing with age, and income, which means higher income
and older people are more care about cell phone. Depending on the theory talked
about before, older people focus more on brand, because they have less
technological knowledge about cell phone, thus brand is a good and easy tool for
them to judge the quality of cell phone; and for higher income earner, cell phone
may represent identity, not only a cell phone, thus brand is very important.
Nowadays, cell phone is not only a communication tool, but also a entertainment product, it
can use for schedule management, personal financial management and even buying
thingas credit card, all of these based on the technology development, thus
technological features act an important role for consumer during cell phone buying
behavior. Between two technological parts, added value feature attracts more
attention than core technological feature. Core technological feature (3G/4G)
decides the quality and speed of connection, but it relies on network service.
However, all activities mentioned above are realized by APPs, which are more
relevant with peoples daily life. Depending on some researches did before, the


relationship between technology and income is positive (Fernandez-Cornejo et al.,

2005), that means higher income people may focus on technology more, at the same
time, the area have a higher technological level, may also have a higher income level.
Another abnormal value is in occupation group, people who are looking for job have
such high sensitive with technology. Some researches consider that is because
unemployed people can find job by technological method can help unemployed
people seek job more efficient. Another reason might about samples; the number of
respondents who are looking for a job is three, which is too small to do an analysis.
In the previous analysis, price is a very important factor in cell phone purchasing. However,
it is not as important as it show before. That is because the money spends on cell
phone purchasing accounts a small part of whole income in the developed countries.
As talked about in the part of literature review, the price of cell phone did change
much during past 10 year, but the average income in the UK has increased 70% than
10 years ago. The value of a cell phone is only 2% of average income for a year, thus
people care about cell phone price less and less, and even become the last concern
for some high income consumer. Among, different gender, female seems more
concentrate in price. In different researches, the results are not same. Some think
males have a higher price sensitive (Andreoni and Vesterlund, 2001), but some have
diverse opinion (Singh and Goyal, 2009). In this survey, males have less price
sensitive than female, that may because of different products. For technological
products males care price less, because they focus more on technological part, but
for normal products, males may care more about price, because female may be
attracted by other features, such as appearance.


7.2 Consumer recycling behavior

Discussion of individual characteristics and recycling behavior
Based on the equation, older people, females, lower income earners and established
employee are more willing to recycle. This conclusion can be proved by many
previous researches.
Older people have are more willing to recycle the EoL phone may because of they have a
higher concern of environmental issues (Derksen and Gartrell, 1993) . And as
discussed in results part, female have a higher recycling participation rate, because
of they have more beliefs of environment and more sensitive about economic
benefit(Stern et al., 1993, Knussen et al., 2004), and lower income earners have
more enthusiasm about this is because price sensitive, like the reason for lower
income earners more care about cell phone price in the previous buying behavior
analysis. And the last factor is occupation. Based on price sensitive, unestablished
group are expect to recycle more, however, the result is not like that. This may
because established employee have higher education level, which is another
important factor for influencing recycling choice, and higher education level may
promote higher recycling rate(Hong et al., 1993).
About significance value
Ranking all the independent variables by significance value, the order is income, age,
occupation, gender. Based on this order and the theories has used in the previous
part, that means economic benefits is a quite important reason for motivation
people recycling. Age is another important reason, this gap may caused by belief of


environment issue, older people have much higher concerns about environment
than younger people. The influence from occupation and gender is not quite
significant, and this can be confirmed by other researches (Derksen and Gartrell,
Based on the result of recycling motivation analysis, benefit is the most important reason
for majority of respondents, this follows the expectation in the beginning. Based on
the conclusion for previous analysis, female have a higher percentage for recycling,
and the main reason for them is economic incentive and beliefs. However, males are
more sensitive about benefit than females in the result, and the importance of
relevant knowledge, which is a very important reason for men to recycle WEEE in
another research, males are motivated by relevant knowledge because recycling
these high technology products need some specialized knowledge, and men are
more interested in technology and new skills, thus to know these relevant
knowledge is a good reason to motivate them recycle EoL cell phone. (Darby and
Obara, 2005)
From the previous discussion, age has a positive impact on recycling behavior. Thus older
people have a higher recycling participation rate, and the main reason for them is
convenience and trend of EoL cell phone. That may because some older people
different to get around, it is a struggling thing for letting them go to a quite far place
to recycle cell phone.
The gaps of recycling of different income groups are very big. As shown previous, lower
income earners are more willing to recycle, since they can get some economic
benefits from EoL cell phone recycling. With income enhancing, the rate of recycling


participation is decreasing, but for people who will recycle the EoL cell phone in
higher income group, convenience and trend of life are the most important reason.

8. Suggestion

Based on the results which got in the previous part, there are some suggestions can be used
for slow down the speed of EoL cell phone generation.
Buying behaviour part
Consumer buying behavior decides the amount of retired phone, Contract help consumer to
extend the age of cell phone, and longer phone age leads to shorter retired cell
phone. Thus some suggestion in this part is about encourage more consumers to buy
cell phone with contract.
In terms of different individual characteristics, older people, females, higher income earner
and established workers are less willing to choose contract when they buy cell
phone. Thus they are key part for enhancing the overall percentage of contract.
Each of them has different buying concerns of cell phone, older people are more care about
brand; females are more attracted by appearance, higher income earner focus on
brand, technology and brand are the most important things for established workers.
Older people, higher income worker and established workers pay more attention on brand,
to attract them to choose contract, network providers should provide more brands
and cell phone types for consumers. And cooperate with cell phone manufacturers,
providing some special type which does not sale on the market.


For females, special and cool appearance is more attractive for them. Some unique cell
phone shell may be a good reason for females to buy cell phones with contract. For
example, there are five colors for iPhone 5C shell, if a network provider iPhone 5C
with another color or design, and can only buy it with contract, many females will
sign the contract to get that special phone.
In addition, price is a quite significant factor for all, thus adjusting contract price is very
important. Lower price for contract can attract more consumers, and add more type
of contract may also useful. Some consumers, who use cell phone for shorter time,
do not want to choose contract. Because even the shortest contract which 18 month
is too long for them. Add more contract types, like 12 months or 15 months can
attract them to choose contract. And then expand the price gap for each contract,
the longer contract they choose, the more money they save, this can motivate them
choose longer contracts.
Recycling behaviour
As shown in the results parts, price is the most significant motivation for recycling. To
improve the rate of recycling participation, the government and environment
department should give subsidy to third-party recyclers to enhance the price of EoL
cell phone. This is the method for entire consumer.
For different individual characteristic groups, younger person, males, low income earners
and unestablished worker are less willing to recycle EoL cell. Thus enhance the
percentage of recycling participation of them is helpful for enhance overall EoL cell
phone recycling rate.


The result of recycling motivations analysis shows that younger people focus on benefit and
knowledge; males concentrate in knowledge and benefit; higher income earners are
more care about convenience and trend of EoL cell phone; and student are more
attracted by knowledge.
Knowledge seems more important for younger person, students and males. Though there
are some overlaps among three groups, each of them will be talked about as
independent group. To improve recycling among them, giving more knowledge
about EoL cell phone and recycling is an important method. However, the ways for
transferring knowledge for different group are different. For students, field trip or
environmental museum visiting is a good way for them. Since males and younger
person are more sensitive with technology, the main source of information is
internet, they get relevant knowledge by computer or cell phone. Punishing relevant
knowledge and new on the website or some special cell phone Apps is more
targeted method for males and younger person.
Convenience is a significant factor for higher income earners, it is very important for
established workers as well. Adding more EoL cell phone collection point in city
concert or the zone that has many employees will be helpful. However, these
collection points may still far or hard to find, thus free bag or free box, which
mentioned in literature part, can be introduced in. These free bags and free bags can
be sent to reception, thus employees can recycle their cell phone when they go to
Another thing that higher income earner concentrate in is trend of EoL cell phone, it is also
significant factor for old people. Higher income earner and older people may more


care about philanthropy (Bennett, 2003), thus donate retired cell phone to charity is
an important reason for them. To improve the recycling rate, third-party recyclers
can cooperate with charity, and give feedback to consumer in time.

9. Conclusion

To identify the relationship between consumer behaviour and the amount of EoL cell phone,
this research analyse this problem with buying behaviour and recycling behavior part.
Buying behaviour decides the amount of retired cell phone, and if consumers change cell
phone more quick, there are more EoL cell phone. Recycling behaviour decides the amount
of recycled cell phone, the more consumers participate in EoL cell phone recycling activities,
the less EoL cell phones are generated.By the help from SPSS, this research uses binary
regression, t-test and means comparison methods, the results can be gotten:

The difference of phone age between two cell phone buying ways, which are buying
cell phone with contract and pay as you go, is obvious.and consumers who buy cell
phone with contract use cell phone longer, to a certain extent, that means, contract
can help consumer extent their phone age.

Age and income have negative impact on contract choice, male group and
unestablished job group have higher percentage for choosing contract.

Consumers with different individual characteristics have different importance rank of

buying concerns, for example, males care more about technology factor (added
value feature and core technology feature) than females, older people more focus


on brand, and lower income earner are more attracted by price. Overall, brand,
technology are the most important concerns when people buy cell phones.

Age influences recycling choice positively, and income has negative impacts on
recycling choice, in addition, females and established employees are more willing to
recycle EoL cell phone. Among these factors, age and income are more significant,
the means the difference about recycling choice is obvious in different age and

For individual characteristics, different groups rank the recycling motivations

differently: females pay more attention on trend of EoL cell phone than males; older
people are more influenced by convenience of recycling than younger people;
benefit motivate more lower income earners to recycle, however the effect of this
factor is worse for higher income group; established job group has the highest
sensitive about convenience, and the lowest sensitive about benefit.Overall, benefit
is the most significant motivation.

Considering the number of cell phone consumer is increasing, and the frequency of new
phone replacement, some targeted measures should be adopted to enhance the phone age
of people who change new phone more frequently, and enhance the recycling participation
rate of people who have less enthusiasm to recycle Eol cell phone.
Based on the results of this research, we can know who is less willing to choose contract and
what are they more concerned about buying cell phone;who is less likely to recycle EoL cell
phone, and what is the most significant motivation, thus the method for people to change
behavior is easy to find out. It is helpful for decreasing the amount of EoL cell phone.


10. Limitation
In this research exits some limitations, and they make the result is not quit good:
Sample size
The sample size of this research is too small, and sample distribution is not balance, that
make the results are not obvious;
Lack of prior research studies on the topic
Though there are some previous researches about the relationship between different
individual characteristics and cell phone buying behavior, and relationship between
different individual characteristics and recycling behavior, but the research about cell phone
contract, especially about the relationship between contract and phone age is lacking. Thus
there no data or previous research can be used for analyzing or proving the results.
Questionnaire design
Questionnaire is not quite reasonable, some questions are useless for the final research, and
some useful questions did not get enough details. In addition, inappropriate types of
question cause some trouble of data analysis. For example, the question about consumer
buying concerns and recycling motivation are sorting questions, they ask respondents to
rank the factors. This question type is not easy for analysis. And then these two questions
can just use means comparison, which cannot provide enough information for research. And
in buying concerns question, technology part is divided into two factors: added value
feature and core technology feature, that weaken the influence from technology.


11. Acknowledgement
This dissertation got much help from Philomena Bacon, her supervision is acknowledged.
And also I am grateful to the respondents for attending the survey.


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Appendix: questionnaire
1. What is your age?
2. What is your gender?


3. How old is your mobile phone now?

Age in months______ _______
4. How long was your phone contract?
Age in months______________ (1 = pay as you go)
5. Approximately how much do you spend per month on your phone contract?
______ ______________
6. How many contracts and phones have you had?


Contracts _________
7. If you have a contract, at the end contract, what will you do with your phone?
Reuse (extend the contract)
Have a new contract (with the new contract you will get a new phone)
Choose pay as you go
8. When you buy a new phone what will you do with your old phone?
Recycle (trade in, give to a friend);
Nothing (put in a drawer).
9.Please rank these factors that motivate you to recycle your old phone.
1. Benefit (private benefit i.e. money back)
2. Convenience (internet deal or more recycling points)


3. Advertisement
4. Relevant knowledge of e-waste and how to recycle
5. Trend of end-of-life cell phone
6. Other (please specify)
10. Please rank the following features that would motivate you to replace your phone?
1. Brand
2. Physical appearance
3. Price
4. Value added features (Apps, android/iPhone)
5. Core technical feature (3G/4G)
6. Post-purchase service
11. What income group are you in?
< 20,000

20,000 - 30,000

> 40,000

30,000 - 40,000

prefer not to say

12. What is your occupation work statue?

First full time job
Looking for a job
Established job