Global circular economy of strategic metals - best-of-two-worlds approach (Bo2W)



The study describes the findings regarding recycling possibilities for thermoplastics from WEEE within the project “Global circular economy of strategic metals - best-of-two-worlds approach (Bo2W)”. Practically each electric or electronic equipment (EEE) contains plastic parts. Thermoplastics not only give the product shape and appearance but also fulfill the function to protect from environmental impacts, lowering the weight and resistance against heating. E-waste management faces several challenges with a proper handling of post-use thermoplastics. First, post-use thermoplastics have low values but these are not comparable to metal scrap. Second, the broad variety of polymer types makes it unsuitable to differentiate properly without using special technical equipment. Third, thermoplastics contain serious amounts of flame retardants in order to prevent the risk of catching fire.The report tackles the challenge and shows possible solutions based on literature and desktop research as well as numerous interviews with company representatives from the related recycling sector.


  • Öko-Institut e.V.


  • Daniel Bleher (Oeko-Institut)

Publishing Date




  • English

Waste hierarchy

  • Recycling
  • Incineration

Waste type

  • E-Waste
  • Plastic

Area of intervention

  • Research


  • Africa
  • Northern Africa
  • Western Africa


  • Åland Islands

german cooperationFederal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Developmentsupported by The State Government of North Rhine-Westphalia