Today, China Electronic Equipment Technology Development and Utilization Association and the environmental protection organization jointly released the ‘China Waste Electronic Products Circular Economy Potential Report’. According to the report, the recycling rate of current electronic products in China is not high. Taking smartphones as an example, the recycling rate is less than 2%.
According to the report, ‘the metal resource cycle of electronic products is more economical than the original gold mining. If the gold content per ton of primary gold concentrate is not less than 10 grams, it can be certified as a first-class product; and every ton of used smartphones (excluding batteries) contains more than 270 grams of gold, the cost of extracting gold from smartphone circuit boards is 20%-65% lower than that of mining and smelting primary gold mines. The ‘gold content’ of abandoned electronics is much higher than the average quality native mine.’
The report also predicts that by 2030, if China’s computer and smartphone recycling rate can reach 85%, the total value of recycled metals will reach 130 billion yuan ($19), which will save about 30 billion kWh of energy compared to mining raw ore, reducing nearly 2,200. In comparison, ten thousand tons of carbon emissions is equivalent to a Boeing 747-400 round trip to Beijing and New York 26,000 times.
The source also believes that in order to improve the recycling rate of electronic products, to achieve industrial scale, and to accelerate the transition to a circular economy model, producers, brands, governments, and other parties need to increase investment, adopt ecological product design, and encouraging recycling.