Recycling and reuse will become “increasingly important” for businesses in order protect limited resources such as aggregates, lithium and rare earth metals, a new report has claimed.
The Review of the Future Resource Risks Faced by UK Business and an Assessment of Future Viability conducted by AEA Technology on behalf of Defra sought to identify UK resources which were at greatest risk of scarcity, and how those shortages can be overcome. Such materials included indium, lithium, phosphorous, rare earth metals and aggregates.
The report recommended: “It is important that recycling and recovery of resources are considered at an early stage. Potential new waste streams need to be identified and an assessment of their potential for recycling and recovery made.”
“This will enable the appropriate processes, facilities and collection infrastructure to be developed in a timely manner to deal with waste streams as they become more prevalent.”
Among recommendations made to the Government, the report called for an extension of the WEEE Directive to address high value resources of the future, and the development of quality protocols for materials that would otherwise have been thought of as waste.