Solar Panels Are Tricky to Recycle

By 2050, the International Renewable Energy Agency estimates that up to 78 million tons of solar modules will have reached the end of their life and that the world will generate around 6 million tons of new solar e-waste annually.

Solar panels consist of photovoltaic cells that convert sunlight into electricity. If they are sent to landfill, valuable resources are lost. And because they’re made from toxic materials like lead, they can leach and break down in landfills, creating new environmental hazards.

In the EU Manufacturers need to ensure that their solar panels are properly recycled. Recycling requirements are being created in Japan, India and Australia. And in the United States, with the exception of a state law in Washington, the United States has no mandates.

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