How did you get to work today? Ever take a good look at your office building? Or think about what it took to make your phone? Your computer? The can you are drinking from? Each one is filled with valuable metals that
can be recovered and recycled. You are surrounded by a veritable urban mine. As essential components of low-carbon innovations,
global demand for these metals is projected to increase a further 58% by 2030. Quality metals recycling helps Europe to meet
that rising demand, complementing the primary materials that are
mostly imported from other areas of the world. But too many of our metals are still not being
recycled properly. They’re lost to landfills and incineration,
or exported outside of Europe, without guarantee of quality treatment. That’s a loss of valuable resources, as
there’s no limit to the number of times we could use and re-use our metals. They’re endlessly recyclable. Recycling our metals also makes sense for
the global climate, using up to 20 times less energy than having to manufacture them all
over again. Circular management of metals is an economic
and environmental win-win. Fortunately, we already recycle a high percentage
of Europe’s base metals – between 70 and 95% from buildings, cars and packaging. And while it isn’t cheap or easy, European
quality recyclers are equipped to recover an even wider range of valuable metals from products, scrap and industrial by-products. Then why is two thirds of European e-waste
still not properly recycled? Why does €4.3bn of base metal scrap leave
Europe annually? We want to work with policy makers to answer
those questions, and make sure that Europe’s metals do reach quality recyclers. It’s time to take advantage of the valuable resources
that surround us.

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