The waste management industry has been utilizing printed circuit board scraps (PCB e-scraps) for extracting useful materials. PCB e-scrap has been source to new materials, given the recent consumer consumption patterns, especially of households in developing and developed economies. The drive for e-scrap and PCB e-scrap market has further received traction on account of deployment of new waste-collection methods, recycling technology, and treatment methods. Governments in collaboration with the industry has put equal focus on all the elements, thereby bringing new avenues for investments for stakeholders in e-scrap collection and recycling markets. To a great deal, their focus gathers strength from the increasing trend of recycling for circular economy and the need for reducing the environment impact of these scraps if they are not adequately disposed of recycled. The last factor is due to a large part of the recycling is done by the informal sector.

The advent of modern recycling technologies focus on approaches promoting ecologically friendly and economically better ways of recycling.  As a result, various ferrous metals have been recovered, thus boosting new investments in the e-scrap and PCB e-scrap market. Over the years, there has been proliferation of production of waste containing telecommunication circuit cards. Among all regions, Asia Pacific has in recent years has seen this problem garnering attention of national players and policy markets. Of note, China has been a key driver for the developments in the Asia Pacific e-scrap and PCB e-scrap market. Both the countries are by far the largest generators of e-waste, particularly those containing PCBs. Governments in these nations have also become aware of the value chain gaps in the market, and have been supporting frameworks that can recycle PCB e-scraps efficiently and keeping in mind the environment. The governments is also keen to address the larger concern of economic circularity, supporting new technologies in the overall e-scrap and PCB e-scrap market.

Global E-Scrap and PCB E-Scrap Market: Snapshot

With advancements in technology, the demand for electronic and electrical equipment has risen dramatically. Persistent innovations in electronic and electrical technologies have further shortened the use-life of electronic and electrical products. This has enhanced the generation of e-waste or waste from electronic and electrical equipment. E-waste primarily comprises laptops, computers, mobile phones, television sets, and other electrical or electronic household appliances.

The market for e-scrap is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of 5.6% by volume during the forecast period from 2017 to 2027. On the other hand, the global printed circuit board (PCB) e-scrap market was valued at 1.57 million tons in 2016 and is expected to reach 3.40 million tons by 2027, expanding at a CAGR of 7.3% from 2017 to 2027. The global e-scrap market was valued at 46.15 million tons and US$58.44 bn in 2016

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Household Appliances Likely to Remain Dominant Source of E-scrap

The global e-scrap and printed circuit board (PCB) e-scrap market has been segmented on the basis of production source of e-scrap, type of PCB e-scrap, and material extracted from PCB e-scrap. Based on source of e-scrap, the market is classified into household appliances, IT and telecommunication products, entertainment devices, and others. In 2016, e-waste produced from household appliances accounted for the maximum share of the global e-waste market, at around 45% of the volume of the overall e-scrap and printed circuit board (PCB) e-scrap market. Moreover, the segment is expected to show sustainable growth throughout the forecast period due to high usage of various types of electronic equipment in household application in terms of units.

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In terms of PCB e-waste type, the market is segmented into telecommunication circuit cards, network communication boards, circuit packs, PC motherboards, and others. In 2016, the telecommunication circuit cards segment held the largest volume share of around 33% and a value share of 43% in the overall PCB e-scrap market. Moreover, it is expected to dominate the market throughout the forecast period.

In terms of material extracted from PCB e-scrap, the market is segmented into ferrous components, metals (copper, aluminum, tin), and precious metals (gold, silver, palladium). In 2016, the metals segment including copper, aluminum and tin held the largest volume share of around 63% and value share of 78% in the overall e-scrap and PCB e-scrap market in 2017.

China Market’s Growth Likely to Drive Asia Pacific E-scrap Market

Geographically, Asia Pacific is the largest market for e-scrap and PCB e-scrap. Asia Pacific is also expected to witness the fastest growth during the forecast period. China, India, Japan, Australia, and South Korea are among the major markets for e-scrap and printed circuit board (PCB) e-scrap in the Asia Pacific region. The Asia Pacific market was valued at US$19.43 bn in 2017 and is expected to rise to US$35.47 bn by 2027 at a sturdy CAGR of 6.2% in the 2017-2027 forecast period. China is the leading national market for e-scrap and PCB e-scrap in Asia Pacific and is bettered only by the U.S. as to its share in the global e-scrap and PCB e-scrap market.

The e-scrap market in North America is also projected to show moderate growth during the forecast period, but Europe held the second-largest volume share in the global e-scrap and PCB e-scrap market in 2017. The e-scrap market in Europe, valued at US$13 bn in 2017, is growing rapidly and is expected to maintain its growth due to growth of the manufacturing industry and rising demand for electronic equipment from households in this region.

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Moreover, the e-scrap market in Latin America and the Middle East and Africa is anticipated to witness sustainable growth in the near future, with the Middle East and Africa market for e-scrap and PCB e-scrap likely to exhibit a solid 5.8% CAGR in the 2017-2027 forecast period. The major factor fuelling the market’s growth in these regions is the rising adoption of electronic equipment and mobile phones in countries such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Israel, and Turkey.

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