Copper recycling in Europe:
Waster from Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE)
Copper is 100% recyclable and can be reused multiple times without losing its intrinsic physical and chemicals properties. Recycling depends on many factors, ranging from:
- Consumers’ responsibility in returning discarded or obsolete products
- Consistent reporting of waste streams
- Products’ lifespan and their subsequent decommissioning
- Overall efficiency of the waste management system
From all copper produced globally, nearly 70% is used for electrical/conductivity applications. In the EU, the equivalent figure is 65%.
WEEE makes up around 11% of the total EU End-of-Life copper in waste. Along with other metals in WEEE streams, copper recycling offers a great opportunity for value retention in the EU. WEEE recycling inefficiencies primarily occur at the collection and separation stages.