The EU published its long-awaited communication around “Critical Raw Materials Resilience: Charting a Path towards greater Security and Sustainability” yesterday. It presents a new, expanded list of critical raw materials (CRM) – adding inter alia Lithium and Titanium to the list – and the challenges for a secure and sustainable supply of CRM and actions to increase EU resilience. Click here to download the communication.

One statistic stands out. For electric vehicle batteries and energy storage, the EU would need up to 18 times more lithium and 5 times more cobalt in 2030, and almost 60 times more lithium and 15 times more cobalt in 2050, compared to the current supply to the whole EU economy. Clearly a case for increased recovery of certain metals.

The communication lays down a number of actions to develop resilient value chains for industrial ecosystems, and reduce dependency on primary critical raw materials (extraction and mining) through circular use of resources, sustainable products and innovation.

The WEEE Forum fully endorses the EU’s quest for resilience in supply of raw materials. We have been a member of the European Innovation Partnership on Raw Materials and we will also be joining the newly set up European Raw Materials Alliance (ERMA). ERMA will seek to increase EU resilience in the rare earths and magnets value chain, and will identify barriers, opportunities and investment cases.

We will contribute to critical raw materials research and innovation in 2021 on waste processing, advanced materials and substitution, using inter alia Horizon Europe. Together with our members, we have been involved in this type of research with EU funded projects such as ProSUM (see www.urbanmineplatform.org), CEWASTE and ORAMA. We will also provide support to mapping of the potential supply of secondary critical raw materials from EU stocks and wastes and identify viable recovery projects by 2022.

About

The WEEE Forum a.i.s.b.l. is an international association representing forty producer responsibility organisations across the globe. Together with our members, we are at the forefront of turning the extended producer responsibility principle into an effective electronic waste management policy approach through our combined knowledge of the technical, business and operational aspects of collection, logistics, de-pollution, processing, preparing for reuse and reporting of e-waste. Our mission is to be the world’s foremost e-waste competence centre excelling in the implementation of the circularity principle.

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