Industry, academia and government come together to launch report on preventing critical raw materials (CRMs) going to waste.
Delegates from across Europe gathered in London last month to celebrate the success of the EU Life-funded Critical Raw Material Closed Loop Recovery (CRM Recovery) project and launch the project’s Layman’s Report, which sets out five policy recommendations to increase the recovery of target critical raw materials (CRMs)*:
· Redesign and harmonise waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) collection infrastructure
· Increase awareness amongst citizens and businesses
· Create incentives for collection and recycling organisations
· Continue innovation and research on CRM recovery and foster international collaboration
· Introduce CRM-specific requirements into standards
The report also found that having more information available about where to take old equipment, convenience, altruism, trust and a human connection are also important factors in encouraging more people to recycle or re-use electronic or electrical equipment.
Its publication marks the culmination of the 3.5 year, 2.1 million project, which aims to increase the percentage of Critical Raw Materials that are recovered across the EU.
The project received funding from the LIFE Programme of the European Union, and is supported by Innovate UK, the Welsh Government and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), and led by WRAP. Partners include the European Recycling Platform (ERP), the European Advanced Recycling Network (EARN), the Wuppertal Institute and the Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN).
Carl Nichols, Head of WRAP Cymru, said “For both economic and environmental reasons, we must address the high risk associated with the supply of critical raw materials, which is of growing concern to businesses and governments. This project has provided important insights that will help to achieve this.
“The Layman’s Report provides clear policy and infrastructure recommendations to optimize waste electrical and electronic equipment collections and maximise critical raw material recovery. I am excited about the profound impact their implementation could have on the electronics industry and the wider economy, both here in the UK and elsewhere in Europe.”