Metals recycling protects the environment and saves energy. EU figures indicate that using recycled raw materials, including metals, cuts CO2 emissions by some 200 million tonnes every year.
Recycled metals do not require the extraction of non-renewable metal ores by extensive mining. As this mining often takes place in unspoiled landscapes, the ability to reduce such disturbance by reusing materials already in existence is a great benefit to the environment.
Mining inevitably disrupts wildlife, drainage and soils, as well as polluting the environment. Using secondary raw materials means less use of natural resources which would otherwise be needed to make new metal compounds such as iron ore in steelmaking or alumina and bauxite in aluminium smelting.
There are also other environmental benefits, for example, using recycled steel to make new steel enables reductions such as:
- 86% in air pollution
- 40% in water use
- 76% in water pollution*
* Source: BMRA 2016