Systematic literature review of reverse logistics for e-waste: overview, analysis, and future research agenda

Zhiqin Ni, Hing Kai Chan*, Zhen Tan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


If the waste of electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE or e-waste) is not appropriately disposed of, it can endanger both human health and the environment by contaminating the air, water, and soil. The purpose of e-waste reverse logistics (RL) is to collect, disassemble, remanufacture, recycle and dispose of end-of-life (EOL) electrical and electronic products to mitigate the risk of environmental damage and maximise the extraction of economic value. In this systematic literature review, we conducted a content analysis of 162 papers written in English from 1998 to 2021 and identified six main research themes on e-waste RL: 1) e-waste legislation and policy, 2) barriers, critical success factors, and solutions, 3) e-waste RL network design decisions, 4) e-waste RL system evaluations and frameworks, 5) consumer e-waste return behaviour, 6) technology-based e-waste RL initiatives. By synthesising these research themes, a conceptual framework of reverse logistics for e-waste is constructed. The review then discusses the limitations and research gaps of each theme and concludes by proposing a detailed future research agenda across 13 specific research topics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)843-871
Number of pages29
JournalInternational Journal of Logistics Research and Applications
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • E-waste
  • research agenda
  • reverse logistics
  • systematic literature review
  • waste of electrical and electronic equipment

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