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Scrap export benefits ‘go well beyond US economy’

Global – In the wake of World Trade Month, the US Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) has highlighted the fact that scrap materials play a vital role in global trade and are in America’€™s top five exports based on value, helping to supply the world’€™s growing demand for commodities of all types.

′In any given year, 30 to 40% of scrap is processed for export,′ says ISRI president Robin Wiener. ′In 2013, commodity-grade scrap products were exported to 160 countries worldwide, generating nearly U$ 24 billion in export sales and significantly helping the US balance of trade.′ Furthermore, scrap exports generated US$ 3.5 billion in tax revenues for federal, state and local governments.

Wiener points out that nearly 40% of the 460 000-plus jobs in the recycling industry involve the processing and sale of scrap for export, accounting for nearly 185 000 workers in 2013 including; 56 000 in the processing and brokering of materials; 52 000 in the supply of either materials, machinery or services to processors; and 76 000 in the supply of general goods and services to those working in the industry.

′The benefit of exporting scrap goes well beyond the US economy,′ comments Wiener. ′Around the world, people gain access to used electronic products that might not otherwise be available. New recycling technologies and best management practices are shared across borders. Safe and responsible recycling infrastructures are built in developing nations. Hundreds of thousands of jobs are created in importing nations, all thanks to recycling.′

ISRI supports the World Trade Organization′s efforts to eliminate tariffs among the 14 countries that represent 86% of the global trade in environmental goods.

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