Our ways of life has been deeply impacted by the technological evolutions of the last 40 years. The apparition of new information and communication technologies (ICT), the use of new energy technologies (NET) within our energy mix, the development of faster and ecological transportation modes contributed to an unprecedented rise of our quality of life. In parallel, these very same developments led us to become dependent on a large range of chemicals, and particularly, of metals.
Indeed, while coal and steel were at the heart of the European reconstruction after the Second World War, a non-specialist could hardly tell the list chemical elements w which are vital for today’s economy. The identification work of these elements so-called “critical” has been started by different organizations throughout the world, in Europe, and in France. These lists of critical elements reveal the threats that the dependency on metals poses on our economy, metals which have insufficient production in France, and in Europe. They could also highlight the opportunities of reindustrialization that recycling and valorisation of some materials create for France and for Europe.