More needs to be done to recycle platinum from cars, according to the British Metals Recycling Association director general Lindsay Millington.
Millingtons comments come amid an increase in demand for platinum from the car industry who use the metal to make catalytic converters. A catalytic converter is a device used to reduce the toxicity of emissions from an internal combustion engine.
If the car industry has a shortage of raw materials then the longer term answer must be to raise the recycling figure, Millington said.
The catalytic converters in cars are an important source of recovery, and we have well developed arrangements in place for reclaiming them. But overall only around 12% of platinum is recycled. We need to push this figure up through spreading public awareness of the benefits of recycling.
Platinum prices have reached an all time high in recent months because of ongoing power production problems in South Africa. This has led to a platinum shortage across the world.
Millington added: Anything we can do to increase the reclaiming of precious metals is good. Making metal from recycled material uses less energy and creates less air pollution; and metals can be recycled time and time again without loss of quality. Moreover, natural resources of some metals, such as copper are running low across the world. So its becoming more and more important that we recycle these metals.
Image: Catalytic converter