Natural resources are a part of the world's wealth that exists to be shared across generations.
Extracting natural resources from the earth is destructive to the environment and to nearby communities. Extracting minerals without recycling them represents a careless and irresponsible exploitation of the world's wealth.
Recycling rates of metals are lower than their potential for reuse. Less than one-third of metals have an recycling rates above 50% and 34 elements are below 1% recycling, yet many of them are crucial to clean technologies such as batteries for hybrid cars to the magnets in wind turbines.
Recycling Rates of Metals, A Status Report by the United Nations Environmental Programme, Dated 2011 Smarter product designs, support for developing country waste management schemes, and encouraging developed country households not to 'squirrel away' old electronic goods in drawers and closets could help boost recycling of metals world-wide. According to this report, recycling rates of metals are in many cases far lower than their potential for reuse. Less than one-third of some 60 metals studied have an end-of-life recycling rate above 50 per cent and 34 elements are below 1 per cent recycling, yet many of them are crucial to clean technologies such as batteries for hybrid cars to the magnets in wind turbines, says the study. “In spite of significant efforts in a number of countries and regions, many metal recycling rates are discouragingly low, and a 'recycling society' appears no more than a distant hope," states the Recycling Rates of Metals: A Status Report, compiled by UNEP" International Resource Panel.
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