The 21st edition of the International Electronics Recycling Congress took place in charming Salzburg, Austria, between the 18th and 20th of January.
This event is billed as the international platform and opportunity for reviewing the challenges faced by the Electronics Recycling Industry. Experts and decision makers from the entire electronics supply chain attended the event, including recyclers and producers, collection organizations, OEMs and service providers.
Jelle Slenters, Jan-Hein Stiens and Henk Neutkens travelled to Austria to represent Sims Lifecycle Services at the Congress. They were delighted to see the IERC Honorary Award presented to Chris Slijkhuis in recognition of his lifetime achievements as a plastics recycling expert. Congratulations!
Sustainability and the Circular Economy for electronics dominated the agenda. Attendees focused on how to increase recovery percentages and increase circularity. Use of language was discussed widely, looking at the importance of moving from discussions about ‘eco-design’ to ‘design for recycling’ or ‘design for sustainability’. Those present agreed that we need to use different language when discussing the raw materials derived from electronics. Downstream materials need to be viewed as a resource – not waste or scrap.
One of the other outcomes from the event was agreement that increased consumer awareness can drive higher collection rates and foster demand for products with higher recycled content. Technology was another hot topic with speakers sharing their experiences of improving recycling yields and efficiency through the use of machine learning, artificial intelligence and automation.
This year’s International Electronics Recycling Congress was the place to be and we are looking forward to what next year’s will bring. Thanks for having us!