Catalytic Converter Recycling Leaders Unite to Combat Growing Theft Problem

The International Precious Metals Institute (IPMI) has announced the formation of the Preventing Auto Catalyst Theft (PACT) Committee

08 March 2023

The International Precious Metals Institute (IPMI) has announced the formation of the Preventing Auto Catalyst Theft (PACT) Committee, which aims to propose practical solutions for preventing catalytic converter theft and to promote public understanding about the importance of precious metals in the catalytic converter recycling industry.

The committee comprises industry leaders representing the processing, smelting, and refining of precious metals recovered from end-of-life catalytic converters. With committee members contributing their time, expertise, and financial resources to address this significant public concern, they hope to offer realistic solutions to combat catalytic converter theft while protecting legitimate recyclers contributing to the global supply of recycled critical minerals.

According to preliminary estimates from the National Insurance Crime Bureau, more than 130,000 catalytic converters were stolen in the U.S. last year, roughly double the number from 2021. The rise in precious metals prices has led to a 10-fold increase in catalytic converters thefts over the previous four years.

Catalytic converters contain three essential and valuable precious metals: platinum, palladium, and rhodium. These metals have been classified as critical minerals by the Secretary of the Interior and require federal involvement to ensure a reliable domestic supply chain within the United States. However, there needs to be uniformity in regulating interstate commerce of catalytic converter recycling, making it easier for state law enforcement to catch thieves and prosecute them without assistance from numerous departments and federal agencies.  The catalytic converter recycling industry is increasingly threatened by catalytic converter theft. Industry experts collaborate to help law enforcement prosecute thieves and establish clear standards for legitimate recycling entities.

"The PACT Committee is dedicated to deterring catalytic converter theft by providing law enforcement with the necessary tools to catch and prosecute thieves," said an IPMI spokesperson. "They advocate for a clear nationally recognized standard for legitimate entities dealing in catalytic converter recycling. With their expertise, they hope to shape federal legislation that tackles ongoing issues while supporting legitimate recyclers' business continuity contributing to a global supply chain of recycled critical minerals."

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