A broken, damaged jewelry, more to your liking? Rather than it ending up in the trash or at the bottom of a drawer, did you know that you can to recycle ? Recasting the precious metal will serve to create new jewelry without drawing on the natural resources of our beautiful planet . Recycle silver jewelry takes on its full meaning when we know the negative impact that mining of precious metals a for the Earth and its inhabitants. Here are some facts that may convince you, if you haven't already, of the importance of thinking in circular economy .
Minerals in our daily life
Every human being uses hundreds of products derived from minerals every day: a pencil, a light bulb, plates, a bed, a refrigerator, a mobile phone, a computer, a car or a bicycle... We don't always think about it, but all these objects come from natural resources, a large part of which is mineral.
Did you know that a cell phone contains more than 50 different materials? Plastic, copper, glass, carbon, cobalt, nickel, iron ore…
It may not seem like much. However, multiplied by the world population and by the daily consumption of each person, this drastically increases the figures. In his whole life, a single person consumes more than 1,500 tons of minerals, fuels, metals … Just imagine what this represents for all the beings inhabiting the planet!
The negative impact of mineral extraction
To produce everyday objects, minerals must be extracted from the ground. For example, for an 18-carat gold wedding ring that you will find in major jewelry stores, 2 tons of rock must be excavated .
In addition to destroying natural habitat and biodiversity, mines and quarries produce a significant amount of waste and require a lot of energy . 5% of global consumption is used to grind ores.
This way of proceeding does not fall within the framework of sustainable development!
In addition, rock mining requires the use of toxic and polluting substances . To extract gold, for example, it will be necessary to use mercury and cyanide.
The harmful consequences directly affect the people working in the mines, but also the rest of the existing and future population.
According to the nations, the rules applied vary. Thus, it is not uncommon to see poisoned river water and extreme and dangerous conditions for workers in the poorest countries. If some operators are far from being eco-friendly, fortunately there are some who adopt a way of working that respects nature and people. It is to them that we turn when we seek the ethical stones which will adorn our jewelry. Thanks to total traceability, we know exactly the working and operating conditions of the areas, which allows us to make the most responsible choices.
From a linear economy to a circular economy
The Earth is not an inexhaustible resource, so moving from a linear mode of production to a circular model is essential.
In the linear economy , the 5 main stages lead to waste and this cycle is repeated for each product created:
- production ;
- distribution ;
- consumption ;
By following this manufacturing model, a single planet is no longer sufficient to support consumption.
In circular economy , at the end of the chain, the loop brings the end-of-life object back into the manufacturing process: no waste, no need to extract new natural resources.
But to be able to enter the circle of circular production, it is necessary to collect and recycle the objects initially intended for the trash.
Companies specialize in collecting precious metals and transforming them into new finished products.
As a jewelry designer, at aglaïa & co, we regularly have scraps of money. So that nothing is lost, we send them to our refiner. They are then melted down and reused. We then buy this recycled money from him for the creation of new jewellery. Everything is recovered!
Why recycle silver jewelry?
Taking into account all the environmental and social issues that we have just seen, avoiding overproduction and waste is essential.
Moreover, at present, more than 20,000 tons of silver ore are produced every year. This precious metal is however not a renewable resource. By maintaining the same rate of exploitation, the reserves could well be exhausted in the next decade.
But we are lucky to have solutions to fix it!
We had already spoken to you in a previous article about upcycling (or how to give a second life to an object). It is on this principle that our Vita Nova collection is based: we give life to new pieces, made with the stones that we have left from previous collections.
But it is also possible to recycle damaged, old or unwanted jewelry . Once sent to collection centers or factories that take care of them, the material will be used for new creations.
Welcome to the circular economy wheel!