1887

Critical metals in discarded electronics

Mapping recycling potentials from selected waste electronics in the Nordic region

image of Critical metals in discarded electronics

Recycling of waste from electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) traditionally focuses on large quantities of waste materials such as plastics. However, some product groups in the WEEE contain hidden treasures in the form of critical metals. This project assesses the critical metals’ waste handling as part of five selected product groups, in the Nordic region. The environmental and economic benefits from the recycling of these metals currently and in the near future is quite substantial, mainly due to the presence of significant quantities of gold in the selected products. In order to contribute further to the circular economy concept, the Nordic countries should pay attention not only to quantitative but also to qualitative aspects of recycling, in order to capture recyclable materials that, although in small quantities, their recycling brings a high economic and environmental value.

English

.

Introduction

The sustainable management of rare earth metals and metals characterised by critical availability and supply has been the subject of intense debate in recent years. Looking forward, these metals are of strategic importance for a number of applications including military equipment, renewable energy technologies and consumer electronics, and suffer from technical, economic or geopolitical scarcity. The scarcity of the metals and their currently rather low (or non-existent) recycling rates and limited substitution potential has triggered discussions on ways to secure a supply of these metals through circular economy provisions such as the recycling of Waste from Electronic and Electrical Equipment (WEEE).

English

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error