Metal recycling is indispensable to reach EU’s climate neutrality objectives by 2050 (EU Green Deal) and shifting from a linear to a circular economy (Circular Economy Action Plan 2.0). Metals can - thanks to their intrinsic properties and market value - be indefinitely recycled and for this reason they play a key role in Europe’s sustainable transition. Metal recycling, is not only the most resource efficient option but also the most climate and energy efficient route when compared to the production of metals using primary raw materials1. Last but not least, given their high value, metals are not littered but collected and recovered to close new material cycles. As a result, metal ores and metal scrap, meeting quality specifications, are commodities priced and traded globally which could help the globe to further close the loop of materials in global value chains and avoid littering related problems.
Europe’s metal recycling industry – which is composed of SMEs and large players – is one of the fastest growing industry, providing local, non-outsourceable jobs. It offers a unique infrastructure of facilities spread all over Europe, that supplies steel mills and smelters located in and outside Europe with quality grade metal scrap which is resource and climate efficient. Metal recyclers’ priorities, as outlined in EuRIC metals strategy, are threefold:
- Creation of a well-functioning internal and global markets for metals
- Rewarding metal recycling environmental benefits
- Increase the intake of commodity-grade metal scrap in metal production
1Compared to primary production, steel, aluminum and copper recycling save respectively 58%, 92% and 65% of CO2 emissions (FEDEREC, 2017).Compared to primary production, steel, aluminum and copper recycling save respectively 58%, 92% and 65% of CO2 emissions (FEDEREC, 2017).EuRIC Circular Metals Strategy