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What if… China were to keep all its rare earth metals for itself?

Rare earth metals are essential for the production of many electrical and electronic appliances. Often they are mined exclusively in China. So the question arises: what if China didn´t want to share them any longer?

Electronic appliances have become an indispensable part of our lives: we watch TV on tablets, surf via smartphones, monitor our health with a pulse watch… All of these appliances contain rare earth metals.

These metals aren’t distributed evenly all over the world, and in fact China has been blessed with many of the sites where their deposit can be found, thus giving the country a strong position in the market.

So the question inevitably arises: what if a superpower like China (and, to a much lesser extent, India) were to monopolise these metals? Does it mean that coming generations will be dependent - for electronics – on these superpowers?

Smart anticipation by recycling

The World Trade Organization (WTO) already criticised China in 2014 because the latter wanted to limit its exports of rare earth metals. But no one really knows how tough a stance China will adopt in the future.

And that’s exactly why it makes sense to take a different approach. We would do better to look ahead and take steps to ensure that we are less dependent on foreign countries. Moreover, shortages can always develop . . .

That’s why Recupel is an indispensable link in the circular economy, also called urban mining, which in a nutshell means the recovery of rare earth metals (and other things) from discarded electrical and electronic appliances.

Your discarded electrical and electronic appliances make for a better future

Every discarded e-appliance that is properly collected can make a contribution here. Do you have such equipment just taking up space in your attic, cellar or garage? Then turn it in at a RecyclePoint, re-use shop or container park in your community. Everyone will benefit – and our (grand)children even more than ourselves.

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