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Precious elements: new campaign highlights need for more sustainable electronics

  • Date 10 May 2022

Following the success of our 2019 Precious Elements campaign – which was covered by the BBC and by news outlets around the world – we are publishing the results of a new, global survey into people's attitudes towards technology, sustainability, and precious elements.

Our first campaign raised awareness of the many rare and precious elements that are in our personal electronics, and highlighted the fact that many people in the UK are unaware of the need to recycle these products.

The campaign was highlighted in Parliament, and in 2020 the RSC was invited to give evidence to the UK Government's Environmental Audit Committee report into e-waste. 

Building on this momentum, we have conducted a second survey – this one in 10 countries around the world – asking participants about their purchasing and recycling habits, and also guaging their attitudes to the issue of sustainability in technology.

We found that there is a real appetite for more sustainable technology options, but that people were frustrated with the lack of information around the topic, as well as the lack of straightforward options for recycling their tech or extending its lifespan.

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