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The Environmental Impact Of Spark Plug Recycling 

         The Environmental Impact Of Spark Plug Recycling 

Automotive professionals have not identified an adequate solution to recycle their old spark plugs until now. Every year, auto technicians in the United States replace over a hundred million spark plugs that could be recycled! 

Spark Plug recycling has recently emerged as a service in 2021. This ground-breakingprogram enables automotive professionals to properly recycle their spark plugs while also benefiting the environment. The precious metals platinum and iridium, can be found in conventional spark plugs. These elements are known as “strategic metals,” and they are used in components that we use every day. These platinum group metals, for example, can be utilized in the electronics industry for computer hard disks, phones, and other applications. Platinum is so scarce and costly that it was designated as a strategic metal during WWII and during that time, the United States government prohibited its usage in jewelry. It’s even more strategically important today than it was during WWII—and not simply for military purposes. Iridium is also a very rare metal that is used in a variety of important industrial applications including the aerospace industry. Its price has recently risen due to increased demand from the technology industry. Iridium is a rare element found in the earth’s crust.  Some say it is thought to have arrived on the same meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs. Others understand that Iridium has been deposited from the earth’s core. 

The vast majority of spark plugs in the United States are either discarded or scrapped for steel. However, none of the precious metals are recovered in the typical scrapping process. The platinum or iridium is ground up and mixed in with scrap steel, never to be used again. Now that spark plug recycling has entered the automotive recycling business, auto professionals can contribute to the recovery of these precious metals while also working to protect the environment. 

Key Takeaway:

Recycling spark plugs is a good way for automotive professionals to help the environment by recycling an item that is either discarded or scrapped for steel. While it may appear that scrapping spark plugs for steel contributes to recycling, this effort only recycles the steel, the most common element found in the earth’s crust. Platinum and iridium are the precious metals that must be recycled among the elements mentioned. Because these strategic precious metals are in high demand and the alternative to recycling is highly polluting mining, auto professionals can contribute to the recovery of these precious metals while also working to protect the environment.


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