Drawing on 5 years of research, RRfW has pulled together their work on recovering resources from industrial waste to highlight where changes in policy are necessary in order to promote circular economy approaches in industrial waste management.

RRfW Policy and Practice Notes

Making the most of industrial wastes: strengthening resource security of valuable metals for clean growth in the UK.

Industrial wastes from the mining and manufacturing sectors contain metals such as vanadium, cobalt, lithium and rare-earth elements. Many of these are currently 100% imported and also necessary for clean technologies including wind turbines, solar panels, energy storage and a multitude of electronics. Recovering these resources from industrial wastes has the potential to contribute towards the UK’s ambition for clean growth, resource security and reducing carbon emissions. However, the current regulatory framework for industrial wastes was not designed with the circular economy in mind and policies will need to become more integrated in order to unlock the potential of resource recovery to contribute to clean growth, create social benefits and maintain environmental protection.

A second RRfW policy and practice note on the recovery of resources from organic wastes will become available in the coming months.

Find out more about the policy work being undertaken by the RRfW programme on our policy project page.