Photograph by Joost de Kluijver on behalf of Closing The Loop and Fairphone

Recycling More Precious Metals using Prussian Blue

A big problem with the disposal of nuclear and electronic wastes is that the process wastes precious metals such as gold and platinum-group metals, which are key metals in computer chips. Researchers from Nagoya University in collaboration with those from the Tokyo Institute of Technology have discovered that a solution to this pressing environmental and technological problem may lie in a pigment named Prussian blue. Using their technique, gold could be extracted from electronic waste, such as smartphones, in amounts 10 to 80 times greater than can be obtained from natural ores. Read more about their research on

photo credit: baselactionnetwork
A Step Towards Closing the Last e-Waste Dumping Pathways

BAN reports: In 2019, the Parties to the Basel Convention Parties agreed to important new amendments to control for the first time, problematic plastic wastes whether they are hazardous or not.

This was done by expanding Annex II, an Annex which for years had been confined to only two listings — Y46 — Wastes collected from households, and Y47 — residues arising from the incineration of household wastes with a new Y48 for certain plastics.

Annex II listings require, as a minimum, the basic control procedure of “prior informed consent” (PIC) even when wastes are not definitely defined as hazardous.

With the Swiss-Ghana proposal then, the same assurance of transparency and right of refusal provided by hazardous electronic waste (PIC) is required for electronic waste, even when it is non-hazardous or it is difficult to prove whether it is hazardous or not. The proposal removes the Annex IX (non-hazardous) listing for electronic waste (B1110) and replaces that with a new listing (Y49) under Annex II.  read the full press release here.