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In 2018 we produced 50m tonnes of electronic waste globally, a figure that’s set to soar..
There are around 25-50 billion internet-connected devices on the planet today amounting to several
devices per person.  The amount of raw materials needed to create
enough devices to fulfil demand is set to double over the next four decades.
Extracting these materials through mining has social and environmental risks, and at
the other end, waste from electrical and electronic equipment can contain heavy metals like mercury
and lead, or flame retardants that are bad for human health and the environment.
Here in Belgium, a company called Umicore are trying to make a change.
In the 90's, we decided to make a huge transformation from a mining base metal company to what it is
today, which is a company that is innovative, that is looking at new technology, that is
trying to bring solutions to issues that the planet is having.
The challenge of recycling small electronic equipment is a very interesting challenge. There
are two billion small electronic equipment that are sold on the planet. The vast majority
of them are lost somehow. They're lost in your drawers! Just imagine today that you
would be able to recover those two billion. You would recover about 50 tons of gold, 500
tons of silver, 20,000 tons of copper and cobalt.
So, there is a real, real, real business case in order to recover this material and to put
it back into service. So we're closing the loop here.
The total value of materials contained in e-waste is estimated at $62.5 billion.
And Umicore aren’t the only ones who are trying to find ways to recycle and reuse. Volkswagen
is building a battery recycling plant to recycle EV batteries. Whilst Apple has set the ambitious
goal to make all its products from 100% recycled materials.
For a business that wants to continue into the future we have no choice but to invest
into the kind of process and the kind of product and services we have offered. But
everybody has to be into this. It is not us and others. It's the connectivity and it's
very important that everybody realises that it is good, it is good for everybody.


Paid Post - From Garbage to Gold: Tales of the e-waste pioneers | Rethink Sustainability

112 分類 收藏
林宜悉 發佈於 2020 年 3 月 28 日
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