EU raw materials initiative

Management of Environmental Quality

ISSN: 1477-7835

Article publication date: 27 September 2011



(2011), "EU raw materials initiative", Management of Environmental Quality, Vol. 22 No. 6.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

EU raw materials initiative

Article Type: News From: Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, Volume 22, Issue 6

The EU raw materials Initiative has identified 14 critical raw materials which are essential to the EU and have significant supply risks, many of which currently have very low recycling rates. This research analyses the technical feasibility and commercial viability of recycling these 14 critical raw materials, and the potential to reduce the UK and European Union’s dependency on imports. Through a detailed mapping of the product supply chain and with consultation of industry experts, ten opportunities are identified which have a high potential to recover critical materials. These include:

  • Aerospace – reuse landing gear (beryllium) and superalloys in engines.

  • Hard disk drives – remove and recycle rare earth magnets.

  • Batteries – improve collection of portable Li-ion batteries to allow recovery of the cobalt and graphite content.

  • Flat screens – separate from general waste electronic and electrical equipment with pilot technologies for the medium term to recover the indium content.

  • Aluminium beverage cans – improve on-the-go collection to recycle magnesium.

Key recommendations to enable increased recovery include improved collection, advanced sorting techniques, new technologies and design for disassembly and reuse.

Related articles