As TechOnline points out, "In less than five minutes, trained workers at recycling centers can manually disassemble a computer and sort all of its plastics and its ferrous and nonferrous metals in preparation for recycling." But five minutes costs money. Today most cell phones and other small electronics are shredded instead of taken apart for recycling, because the disassembly time is too expensive for the amount of material reclaimed.
What if the product disassembled itself, in one second?
That's what Active Disassembly is all about. Screws that lose their threads and lengthen to push themselves out. Hooks that straighten to unhook and push the other piece away. Adhesives that melt or dissolve. Plastic parts that depolymerize into powder. All these and more are not just fantasies, they've been done in the lab for a couple years, and are getting closer to hitting the shelves: