Recycling High-Quality Plastics
International Electronics Recycling Congress IERC 2020
Every year, the International Electronics Recycling Congress IERC 2020 in Salzburg brings 500 of the world’s leading recycling specialists to Salzburg in Austria: recycling enterprises, technology providers and mechani-cal engineers, industry associations, NGOs and governmental bodies, standards organizations and many others send their representatives. Even after 19 iterations of the Congress, there remain many challenges to be mastered and questions to be answered. The members of the PolyCE project tackled one of these ques-tions in their workshop:
„How can plastics recycling be improved to produce high-quality materials for a circular economy in the electronics industry?“
The workshop drew around 30 attendees from all over the world and from a diverse range of industries and professions, including mechanical engineering, electrical and electronics manufacturing, collection, pro-cessing and recycling of electronics waste, and researchers working in the area. Their shared purpose was to find ways to improve established recycling processes to reclaim material for high-quality recycled plastics fit for re-use in electronic devices like vacuum cleaners or coffee makers. Moving to secondary materials in this way will protect our environment and save invaluable natural resources.
After the participants were introduced to how the PolyCE project contributes to each link in the plastic re-cycling value chain, they were asked to explore and find viable solutions for a set of issues in four rounds of a dedicated poster session. Their suggestions included e.g. political activities to promote the use of recycled plastics in new electronics and to create more awareness for products using recycled materials in the gen-eral public.
All attendees agreed: “There are many opportunities to improve plastic recycling – the world just needs to start living the circular economy!”
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The circular economy and other headline challenges for green electronics in the digital age will also figure prominently at the world’s largest gathering on environmental issues in the electronics industry – Electronic goes Green, coming to Berlin from 1 to 3 September 2020 with this year’s motto “The Story of Daisy, Alexa, and Greta“. The Call is already open.