WRAP is to lead a European partnership to recover precious metals from recycled products.
The £1.5m project aims to harvest critical raw materials and metals including gold, silver and platinum from unwanted electronic products in the UK, Germany, Italy and Turkey.
WRAP will work with partners Knowledge Transfer Network, which brings together businesses and academics to develop new enterprises; Germany’s Wuppertal Institute, which conducts research into sustainability; WEEE recycling compliance body the European Recycling Platform; and the European Advanced Recycling Network.
Together they will form Critical Raw Material Closed Loop Recovery to explore commercial opportunities for these materials.
Precious metals are essential to many electrical products, but their supply is under increasing pressure. By 2019, the project intends to deliver a 5% increase in recovery from products such as consumer electronics, ICT equipment and small household appliances.
WRAP chief executive Liz Goodwin said: “We are delighted to lead this project, which will find effective routes for collecting and recovering valuable materials from electrical and electronic products.
“I look forward to seeing how these new insights inform the bigger picture, demonstrating the economic and environmental benefits of making better use of resources across Europe.”
The partnership is the latest in WRAP’s efforts to build a more international profile, having become a charity in 2014 and launched a five-year strategic plan.