An heirloom from granny, that jumper from a Paris boutique; we lavish such items with care and attention, because we know how special they are.
And the principle applies to certain materials too. Rare earths, and metals such as cobalt or lithium, for example.
Originating from China or the Congo, they are often to be found in electric vehicles and mobile phone batteries.
Until now, metal extraction and sustainability have seldom gone hand in hand, but all that could be about to change.
Using biodegradable solvents based on renewable materials, researchers are working to develop an alternative to traditional pyrometallurgy, thereby preventing vital commodities from being wasted.
A rare endeavor!