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Home » Market Update » Will the push to recycle electronics increase counterfeits in the supply chain?

As e-waste continues to head toward the world’s landfills and keeps on increasing, the push is on to recycle and reuse more end-of-life electronic products, writes Source Today.

“Currently, the World Economic Forum (WEF) says that just about 35% of e-waste is recycled in the U.S. This number has remained low because consumers and businesses don’t always know where to recycle their discarded products and wind up throwing some or all of them into the trash.

“If electronic devices decompose in landfills, hazardous compounds can leach into groundwater, including lead used in older circuit boards, mercury found in early LCD screens and flame retardants in plastics,” WEF points out. “This process poses health risks to people and wildlife.”

The U.S. has previously expressed a desire reduce reliance on importing high-value precious metals for consumer electronics but their Government Accountability Office (GAO) warns it may lead to more counterfeit components entering the supply chain.

Consumer electronics contain critical materials whose supplies are limited, including gold, platinum, and rare earth metals. Domestic recycling of consumer electronics could extend the supply and reduce the current U.S. reliance on imports. New technologies are becoming available, but electronics recycling is complex and faces challenges.

Of these challenges, says GAO, “Exported used electronics may serve as a source of counterfeit electronic parts, which, as GAO previously reported, could disrupt parts of the Department of Defense supply chain and threaten the reliability of weapons systems.”

Previously, GAO has concluded, “The DOD supply chain is vulnerable to the risk of counterfeit parts, which have the potential to delay missions and ultimately endanger service members.”

Find out more about Astute Electronics counterfeit mitigation techniques by contacting one of our experts.

We offers very reliable on-site labs for carrying out a range of destructive and non-destructive testing, as shown here:

Astute is a highly accredited, quality-driven procurement expert, with a list of clients that includes the world’s leading defence suppliers. Our mission is to shield you against inferior quality products and services. As such, our operations are run in accordance with quality processes including AS6081 that mitigates the risks of purchasing and supplying fraudulent/counterfeit electronic parts.

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