Recycling metal prevents the need to mine for new unrefined ore, reducing emissions and air pollution. By recycling, we get an eco-friendly alternative and reduce the pollution of air, water, and soil that is a consequence of mining.
The process of metal manufacturing is highly energy-intensive. For example, making 20 cans from recycled metal takes the same energy as making one from raw materials. Virgin metal, obtained from ore through smelting, uses a lot of energy and demands the consumption of precious resources like coal. Contrarily, recycled metal is scrap metal that is melted and can be processed to make sheets or blocks of raw material. This proves that recycling should be seriously considered as it is a much more energy-efficient process.
Organizations can reduce their energy costs for metals like aluminium and copper by more than 75% by opting for recycled metal instead of natural resources.
Not many of us realize the damage we cause to the environment when we throw metal products away. We do not understand that we are exposing the environment to the rawest form of such metals.
Many discarded items ending up in landfills, like electronics, are loaded with toxins like lead, mercury, and arsenic. The toxic runoff from metals in landfills can pollute the water supply and seriously harm the environment and people living nearby. It can even pollute rivers, and entire lakes, compromising our drinking water and damaging whole ecosystems.
This may come as a shock to many people, but it is a fact we cannot ignore, and we need to shift our thinking towards eco-friendly practices like recycling.
There has been a growing appreciation for the ecological benefits of scrap recycling in recent years. The shift in the mindset of businesses dealing with metals has led to the growth of scrap recycling into a major billion-dollar global industry. Manufacturers who earlier considered scrap as only waste realize how recycling is more cost-effective than undergoing mining expenses to get virgin ore to make metals from scratch. It is a win-win situation for them.
Recycling metal negates the need to smelt new metal, thus efficiently preserving our planet’s resources and preventing atmospheric pollution. For instance, by recycling a tonne of aluminium, we can avoid releasing into the atmosphere around 9 tonnes of carbon dioxide. We can save 17 trees, 7,000 gallons of water, 380 gallons of oil, and 3 cubic yards of landfill space through recycling.
Governing bodies, consumers, and manufacturers must realize that recycling metal is the way to go if we want to build a sustainable world for us to live in. Operating a sustainable business is no longer a choice but a necessity that needs the support of government legislation. Recycling scrap metal can significantly reduce emissions and air pollution, besides providing cost benefits.
It is commendable that The United Nations Climate Neutral Strategy is now working to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and committing all UN organizations to measure, reduce and offset any unavoidable greenhouse gas emissions. We hope that with increased environmental awareness over the next years, the demand for scrap metal will rise, and consumers, too, will prefer only recycled scrap metal.