Amid the ever-growing tide of electronic waste, a novel approach to its disposal is emerging - e-mining. This process entails extracting precious metals, such as silver and gold, from discarded gadgets such as mobile phones, laptops, and gaming consoles. These metals are highly sought after in the electronics industry due to their excellent electrical conductivity and resistance to corrosion.
Despite the massive potential of e-waste as a resource, only a meagre 12.5% of it is currently being recycled. With the world generating a staggering 52 million tons of e-waste annually, and projections suggesting this figure could reach 120 million tons by 2050 (World Economic Forum), the future of silver mining may not lie in the depths of the earth but in our very own landfill sites.
Recycling plants can dismantle discarded electronics, sending plastics for further processing, melting down copper and iron, and extracting valuable metals from circuit boards. By doing our part in properly recycling our electronics, we can contribute to a more sustainable, circular jewelry industry.