Electronic Scrap Recycling Market Expected to Reach US$34.32 bn by 2022
According to a new market report published by Transparency Market Research “Electronic Scrap Recycling Market – Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast 2015 – 2022”, the global electronic scrap recycling market was worth US$ 11.03 Bn in 2014 and is expected to reach US$ 34.32 Bn by 2022, growing at a CAGR of 15.7% from 2015 to 2022. Europe was the largest market for electronic scrap recycling in 2014. Growth in this region is expected to be driven by stringent government regulations and huge profits generated through the recovery of precious metals from electronic scrap.
Owing to the wide availability of electronic scrap and the rising global volume of scrap electronic products, a trend of focus on increasing electronic scrap recycling capacity by smelting and refining companies has been observed in various regions worldwide. The importance of electronic scrap is on the rise in response to changes in consumer patterns and advancements in the technology of electronic devices. This has resulted in the generation of huge quantities of e-waste that need to be managed and processed. The traditional means of handling of this e-waste, including disposal in landfills, exporting overseas, and combustion in incinerators are prohibited due to legislation designed to prevent environmental pollution.
Moreover, the presence of ferrous, non-ferrous, and precious metals makes electronic scrap recycling economically attractive. For all these reasons, smelting and refining companies such as Boliden Group and Umicore N.V., Mitsubishi Materials USA Corporation lay emphasis on increasing electronic scrap processing capacity. To this end, in June 2015 Mitsubishi Materials Corporation expanded the Naoshima Smelter and Refinery’s electronic scrap receiving and processing capacity to about 110,000 tons per year (an annual increase of 30,000 tons over current capacity). Likewise in June 2012, Boliden Group increased the electronic scrap recycling capacity from 45,000 to 120,000 tons per year at its Rönnskär smelting facility.
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With advancements in technology, the demand for electronic and electrical equipment has risen dramatically. Persistent innovations on electronic and electrical technologies have further shortened the use-life of electronic and electrical products. This has enhanced the generation of e-waste or waste from electronic and electrical equipment. E-waste primarily comprises laptops, computers, mobile phones, television sets, and other electrical or electronic household appliances.
According to the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), around 20 million to 50 million tons of e-waste are generated every year globally and volumes are increasing three-folds faster than other forms of municipal wastes. This is primarily fuelled by expanding markets and rapid product innovations such as the switch from analog to digital technologies. The global production of e-waste is increasing rapidly and is expected to pick up pace in coming years. E-waste is considered to be hazardous; therefore it should be managed and processed carefully. Additionally, the presence of various precious metals such as gold, silver, palladium, tantalum, and gallium makes e-waste attractive for recycling. Thus, most companies in the field are either entering into the electronic recycling business or expanding the recycling capacity at their smelting and refining facilities.