Martin Whitfield MP has tabled a parliamentary Early Day Motion (EDM) supporting the Elements in Danger campaign on the importance of the various precious elements used in electronic devices.

It is estimated there could be as many as 40 million electronic devices such as phones and smart TVs containing rare precious elements stockpiled in people’s homes across the UK.

However, natural sources of six of the elements found in mobile phones are set to run out within the next 100 years, yet the majority of households don’t currently recycle them.

Mr Whitfield is backing the campaign, launched by the Royal Society of Chemistry, and has tabled the motion to help raise awareness in Parliament.

Martin Whitfield MP said:

“The Elements in Danger campaign is highlighting the importance of the various precious elements used in electronic devices and the urgent need for people to recycle their old phones, TVs and other devices.

“With many of the elements required to manufacture these devices set to be fully mined in the next 100 years, it is vital that we take a more proactive approach to reducing, reusing and recycling them now.

“I’ve tabled this EDM to support the campaign and its objectives and help promote it to parliamentary colleagues.”

Find out why we need to reduce, reuse and recycle, to save our precious elements and how you can help at www.rsc.org/…/…/saving-precious-elements/elements-in-danger/

That this House welcomes the ‘Elements in Danger’ campaign launched in International Year of the Periodic Table by the Royal Society of Chemistry to raise awareness of rare elements contained in unused mobile phones and devices; understands that there are an estimated 40 million unused gadgets in UK homes, that these electronic devices contain precious elements that are in danger of running out in the next 100 years, and that the majority of households have no plans to recycle them; acknowledges that there is a lack of infrastructure available to disassemble and extract rare elements from mobile devices at scale; recognises that R & D investment is needed to develop large-scale technological solutions that facilitate electronics recycling and recovery of rare elements for a circular economy model, as well as to build sustainability into the product design of devices; and calls on Government to work in partnership with academia, industry and consumers towards common sustainability goals for rare elements.