E-waste discarded in 2021 alone amounts to 57 million tons according to a study and the Royal Society of Chemistry says that this is what should be mined – not the earth. Even with e-waste growing at around 2 million tons a year, less than 20% is collected. The critical materials that are now rapidly depleting during over-mining are the rare earth metals and with many of us across the world just keeping old phones and computers, there is a huge stockpile of these in dusty corners and drawers everywhere. Such elements as lithium and nickel which are key elements in the batteries used in electronic vehicles has seen massive spikes due to the war in Ukraine and other factors while such elements as Gallium, Arsenic, Silver, Yttrium and Tantalum used in such diverse industries as medical technology, lens tech, transistor manufacture, LED technology, race car tech, and rocket tech may well run out before the century is out. Both consumers and manufacturers need to take more responsibility to ensure that there is a committed investment made to recycle these elements instead of going back again and again into the ground for it.