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StEP Green Paper “Leaded Glass from Cathode Ray Tubes (CRTs)”

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As a result of the replacement of cathode ray tube screens (CRTs) by flat screens, the world is confronted with stranded end-of-life CRTs. CRTs contain 1 to 1.5 kg of lead per screen; mainly found in the funnel and neck glass for radiation protection purposes. The lead content makes this CRT glass unsuitable in most glass applications. Thus, there is an urgent need for alternative recycling options that are able to use up the CRT leaded glass while safely retaining the lead out of contact with humans and the environment.

The new StEP Green Paper co-authored by Eliette Restrepo, Rolf Widmer (both EMPA) and Mathias Schluep (World Resources Forum) provides a critical review of products in which CRT leaded glass can replace raw materials. Additionally, they review current disposal options. The main focus of the review is the fate of lead in the new products and repositories. The results complement available evaluations of the technical feasibility and direct environmental impacts of the options.

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