The newly published book ‘A Material World - A Substantial Story of Our Past and Future’ by Ed Conway investigates the reality of the move to Net Zero on our resources, the impact of geopolitical tensions in China, and where the UK stands as a post-industrial economy.
The book also explores if it is realistically achievable to reach Net Zero without the continued exploitation of sand, salt, iron, copper, oil, and lithium, many of which are used in the production of electronics and electrical equipment. The overuse of such materials globally will result in increased costs until they run out.
In2tec’s sustainable electronics programmes ReUSE® and ReCYCLE™ provide the solution to the shortages of key materials and minerals and to reliably reuse electronic components is a key requirement in minimising the shortages and near-future depletion.
“The Material World book certainly presents the frightening but real future for not only our children’s and grandchildren’s generations but also our own. The continued overuse and wastage of key resources used in the production of electronics is unsustainable,” says Emma Armstrong, Sustainable Electronics Ambassador at In2tec. “We already see evidence of this from the recent global chip shortage which saw automotive and other industries shut down due to the lack of key components needed in the manufacturing process.”
The importance of reusing materials wherever possible has also recently been highlighted in an investigation into the electronics recycling process. An article, by Oliver Franklin-Wallace recently published in The Guardian - ‘I spot brand new TVs, here to be shredded’: the truth about our electronic waste. Franklin-Wallace talks about his visit to an electronics recycling plant in the US and explains that “Globally, only 17.4% of electronic waste is recycled. Between 7% and 20% is exported, 8% thrown into landfills and incinerators in the global north, and the rest is unaccounted for.”
“These extraordinary figures are unsustainable and sadly they’re real,” continues Armstrong. “Thankfully, we have the solution. Our work and investment in the last 15-years has only become more important as time has gone on. Circularity in electronics can now be achieved but this is a paradigm shift and we need to work together to change the industry outcomes.”
In2tec’s patented technology provides fully recyclable electronic circuit board assemblies. ReUSE® proprietary design and manufacturing techniques, patented conductive adhesives, inter-layer adhesives, printed inks and dielectrics, allow for complete disassembly back to the Bill of Materials (BoM).?ReCYCLE™ is the ultra-low energy closed loop process delivering clean, undamaged components ready for reuse in second life applications.
These processes allow for continued recyclability of electronics, ensuring components are used for their full lifespan rather than being sent to landfill. Without this innovation future generations won’t have the ability to continue innovating and developing technology to save lives, travel, or for entertainment purposes. Without increased efforts to achieve Net Zero and improved sustainability we will quite literally be sent back to the stone age.