Celebrating the unsung heroes of recycling

Celebrating the unsung heroes of recycling

Lead batteries are a perfect example of the circular economy

By: Wim De Vos, Chief Executive Officer, Campine

The aim of this year’s Global Recycling Day is to celebrate the heroes.

It is a day for recognising the people, places and activities and the role recycling plays in a greener future. Or as the group behind organising the event say without understatement: it’s about saving the planet.

As we rightly celebrate all recycling heroes, from large businesses to people at home doing their bit, we should recognise there are many unsung heroes in the war against climate change.

They are the less fashionable and not so glamorous work horses of the circular economy. The industries that walk the talk, delivering commodities and manufacturing products, day in and day out, making recycling on a grand scale a reality.

At Campine we recycle one of the most misunderstood, often maligned and yet absolutely critical raw materials that we all rely on: lead.

It is the gold standard when it comes to recycling and the circular economy.

It is a metal behind two thirds of the world’s rechargeable battery energy storage. It can be infinitely recycled without any loss of quality or performance. Thanks to its closed-loop economy, the lead battery value chain generates billions of euros from its products at the end of life, conserving natural resources and minimising waste by returning the lead to the product cycle an infinite number of times. Without it the way we live would grind to a halt.

Yet it is an unsung hero.

Lead matters for a whole range of industries. From the cables that carry renewable energy generated in wind farms, to the lead used as a carrier metal for recycling other rare and essential raw metals. This is a metal that delivers a lower carbon future and underpins a green recovery.

At Campine we embody all the principles of the circular economy: we are one of the company’s  helping to transition and transform Europe’s sustainable industrial and economic future.

And we are constantly investing and innovating. This year we have expanded our recycling activities to recover antinomy – another critical raw material – from recycled lead batteries in a new process exclusively developed by our engineers. Without lead as a carrier metal, such would not be possible.

The products we recycle ensure a secure supply of critical raw materials, helping Europe maintain its strategic autonomy.

That’s why policy makers, legislators and industry must work together to recognise, nurture and support industries and companies on the recycling front line: delivering the circular economy, building a carbon neutral future, and maintaining growth and prosperity.

Achieving climate neutrality and green growth – a goal shared by industry – is inevitably a balancing act. Maintaining vital services and products, creating jobs, supporting economic recovery and creating innovative solutions is a serious business.

So, we join together on Global Recycling Day and celebrate all the recycling heroes. Our future depends on it.

Read more for why the lead battery value chain embodies the European Commission’s ambitions for a green and sustainable future

Sign up to receive news and views like this straight to your inbox or tell us your own by getting in touch here.

Related Posts