Critical metals in end-of-life products

Recovery potential and opportunities for removal of bottlenecks of recycling

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Critical raw materials (CRM) are used in various applications in different sectors, and their consumption will likely further increase in future. The threats caused by their limited availability and high prices have led to discussion on more efficient use of the resources available. The enhanced recycling of critical raw materials could be a significant opportunity for the Nordic countries.This report focuses on the recycling potential of wastes containing CRMs, analyses of the bottlenecks of recycling, and identifies potential policy instruments to eliminate the barriers or reduce their impact. In order to enhance sustainable recycling, the Nordic countries should improve knowledge of CRM availability, develop new recycling strategies, support demonstration and selected R&D actions, and strengthen Nordic influence on the development of European legislation and standards.



Critical raw materials in the selected applications in the Nordic countries

The total quantities of the selected CRMs in the target end-of-life product groups (ELV and lighting waste) were calculated by multiplying the content of critical metals in each product group with the annual discarded quantities of the product in the four Nordic countries. The data on discarded quantities of each CRM is presented per each end-oflife product and country. The available amounts of each metal are summarized. In addition, based on the report by Bakas et al. (2016), a summary of the total quantities of CRMs in consumer electronics products and rechargeable batteries is presented.


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