The emerging material flows of recycled goods have effects on roles, responsibilities and positions of a range of industrial actors, but also on the consumer as a part of the industrial recycling process. The purpose of the paper is to discuss the changing role and position of the final‐product customer, the consumer, as recycling is introduced into the supply chain.
This is a conceptual paper, building on theory and concepts from literature on marketing channels, industrial actors and material flows. Those concepts were developed basically for traditional forward material flows, while recycling complicates their application and further development.
Through recycling the consumer is given a new role; as a supplier, however, not as a seller in traditional terms. This new nature of its role complicates the conception of the consumer's position, vis‐à‐vis the recycler. It also addresses the consumer seen as an economic entity vis‐à‐vis other actors.
Including recycling in the concept of material flow structures and the consumer as an actor in industrial processes becomes more and more vital; both for theory development where this is still novel, and for practice, as the mechanisms of recycling and consumer behaviour need to be better described and understood for both industry and authorities.
Anderson, H. and Huge Brodin, M. (2005), "The consumer's changing role: the case of recycling", Management of Environmental Quality, Vol. 16 No. 1, pp. 77-86. https://doi.org/10.1108/14777830510574362Download as .RIS
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