When scientists predict our future they tell a tale of increasing temperatures, rising sea levels, more intense and frequent extreme weather events, depleting arable land, greater pollution and increasingly common global pandemics. Whilst such forecasts paint a gloomy picture, they may also spawn creativity, innovation and action. With global warming impacting at an even faster rate than previously forecast, the question should not be why should I recycle and reuse, but HOW?
A recent UN report projects e-waste to reach 120m tonnes a year by 2050, up from 50m tonnes this year. Currently, only 1/5 of appliances and devices are recycled, with the bulk of the often-toxic items ending up in landfill or incineration, where out of sight, out of mind is the guiding principle. To stress the wastefulness of this, consider that whilst 1 ton of ore yields 30g of gold (you would be lucky to get this), 1 ton of electronic waste generates over 300g of gold. Neglecting our responsibility to recycle electronics is not just unsustainable and unecological, but also uneconomical. However, to fully harness the value of e-waste, recycling schemes need to be deployed on a far larger scale. So, we were tremendously excited to hear about Japan’s decision to use exclusively salvaged metal for its 2020 Olympic medals. We hope that this ground-breaking national initiative, which invites its citizens to donate their old electronics, will firmly situate e-waste at centre stage and enable ‘urban-mining’ jewellery manufacturing to gain traction.
As natural resources diminish, Lylie's Sustainable Jewellery turns to waste as a resource: our jewellery uses salvaged metal made up of electronic waste, dental waste and scrap metal. Lylie’s is ready to unlock the value of your so-called waste. This could be by melting down the gold and reusing the stones to remodel your old, unworn jewellery into a piece you can cherish. Or perhaps you have a drawer full of obsolete electronics that are longing to be dismantled and their compositional gold and silver reclaimed for future goods and generations. You never know, you may be sitting on your very own goldmine. Ultimately, Lylie’s aspires to keep resources rotating for as long as possible through re-use and regeneration. Our core beliefs are to create an object of long-term value, and to eliminate the concept of e-waste. We would like our jewellery to not only look beautiful, but also tell a beautiful tale, so that the resources, product and story of its many lives can be passed from generation to generation.
Listen to Eliza discussing how precious metals are extracted from e-waste. Alternatively, see examples of our remodelling projects.