Early-bird registration opens for E-Waste World Conference & Expo 2019

Early-bird registration opens for E-Waste World Conference & Expo 2019

July 23, 2019
Marcia González

With some of the electronics industry’s biggest players already confirmed to attend, E-Waste World Conference & Expo 2019 looks primed to become the world’s leading meeting place for anyone involved in the WEEE sector – up and down the supply chain and across WEEE-generating sectors

Following on from the resounding success of Plastic Free World Conference & Expo (held in Frankfurt in June), organizer Trans-Global Events is proud to announce the next exciting project in its growing sustainability stable. E-Waste World Conference & Expo is a specialist two-day technical forum that will bring together experts from both ends of the electronics lifecycle (and everywhere in between) to discuss and unveil solutions and strategies to alleviate the global e-waste crisis.

Taking place at the Kap Europa, Frankfurt Messe, on 14-15 November 2019, this unique conference will boast almost 90 speakers across three dedicated tracks: ‘E-Waste Challenges & Opportunities’; ‘Green & Sustainable Electronics’; and ‘Electric Vehicle & Battery Recycling’. These feature some of the world’s leading brands, including Dell, Hewlett Packard, Electrolux, Philips, LG, Lexmark and Epson. The event has also attracted interest from the most respected organizations involved in lithium-ion recycling and urban mining, such as Umicore, Aurubis, Stena Technoworld, Li-Cycle and Sims Recycling Solutions as well as electric vehicle OEMs such as Honda, Renault and Daimler.

The highly focused conference program has been assembled under the guidance of a seven-person Advisory Board, who between them are acknowledged as being among the best-connected professionals in their fields, each bringing an enviable level of expertise to the proceedings.

Pascal Leroy is secretary general of the WEEE Forum and one of the most recognizable faces within the global WEEE industry. Hans Eric Melin is arguably the world’s leading authority on the lithium-ion end-of-life market, while Dr Karen Hanghøj – set to join the British Geological Society from EIT Raw Materials at the end of September – possesses an unprecedented depth of acumen into subjects such as rare earths, critical raw materials and urban mining. The board is further complemented by the USA’s Nancy Gillis, CEO of the Green Electronics Council and Corey Dehmey, executive director of SERI (Sustainable Electronics Recycling International). Finally, Elisabeth Smith, executive director of the United Nations University-backed StEP Initiative and Professor David Peck from TU Delft bring to the Board a wealth of know-how in WEEE recycling and circular economy, respectively.

It’s clear from the 75 speakers we already have confirmed that our goal with E-Waste World Conference & Expo is to tackle the global e-waste crisis holistically

“It’s clear from the 75 speakers we already have confirmed that our goal with E-Waste World Conference & Expo is to tackle the global e-waste crisis holistically,” says Mike Robinson, CEO of Trans-Global Events. “Delegates will hear from protagonists up and down the entire value chain – electronics designers, raw materials suppliers, precious metal/mineral recovery companies, takeback operators, WEEE recyclers, firms specializing in re-manufacturing and re-use, consultants, supply chain analysts, retailers and legislators – across several WEEE-generating industries. And we’re including the electric and hybrid vehicle market and solar and PV waste streams in that mix.

“There’s a relatively small number of EVs on the road today – around three million – but that’s predicted to reach 125 million by 2030,” continues Robinson. “Where are the raw materials going to come from to meet such volumes? How can we prevent those li-ion batteries from adversely impacting the environment? How can we recover those valuable materials? Solar panels, meanwhile, have been a renewable energy success story but millions upon millions are nearing the end of their life. These two sectors alone are going to add to the e-waste mountain massively in the future. And that’s without factoring in society’s continuing lust for the latest, greatest electronics devices, the impact that 5G will have and other disruptors such as e-bikes and wearables adding to the complexity. A storm is on the horizon and we haven’t really begun to batten down the hatches.”

E-Waste is the fastest-growing solid waste stream in the world yet seemingly pollutes under the radar, certainly when compared with the much-publicized plastics crisis. But while WEEE is already having a toxic effect on the environment as well as posing humanitarian and ethical considerations in its disposal, there is an incredible value in the e-waste that is currently flowing into landfill or is incinerated.

We produce 50 million tonnes of electronic waste each and every year, which contains a material value worth in the region of US$65 billion, barely 20% of which is ‘officially’ recycled

We produce 50 million tonnes of electronic waste each and every year, which contains a material value worth in the region of US$65 billion, barely 20% of which is ‘officially’ recycled. Added to this, some of the metals and minerals present in today’s electronics are increasingly scarce yet more and more in demand. “That scenario is simply not sustainable,” says Robinson. “We must shift our focus from linear ‘take-make-dispose’ models to being truly circular in our approach.

“We should regard e-waste not as a waste or a pollutant,” Robinson insists. “It’s a hugely valuable resource. With everyone coming together on a global platform such as E-Waste World Conference & Expo, we can help to nurture industries that are less wasteful and more sustainable – where products are re-used, re-purposed and recycled in innovative ways and I’m really looking forward to hearing how these innovators are going to go about it.”

Registration for E-Waste World Conference & Expo – which takes place on 14-15 November 2019 at the Kap Europa, Frankfurt Messe – is now open. To find out more, go online by clicking here. And don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn for more news about the event, speakers and presentations

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