The electronics and mining industries might not spring to mind when thinking about the circular economy. But shifting to new and sustainable methods of production is, and must be, a cross-sectoral revolution – if it is to be fully realised.
A Dutch company is demonstrating the type of innovative new approach that will be required. Fairphone, a multi-award winning sustainable electronics firm, is transforming the mobile phone sector by using ‘valuable materials’ from unwanted phones to make their products.
It collects and recycles gold, silver, copper and other elements from phones donated via selected drop off points or posted to them using the company’s free shipping label.
Set up in 2013 Fairphone is striving to lead a ‘movement for fairer electronics’ to create ‘new relationships between people and their products’.
— Fairphone (@Fairphone) August 20, 2017
And a 200-year-old company is showing a similar appetite for reshaping how things are done. The multi-billion euro mining giant Umicore has ‘completely reinvented itself‘ and is making gold bars from a variety of waste products, including car parts and electronic waste.