United Kingdom – Metal recyclers in the UK are ready to work with ministers on measures to invigorate the secondary material markets, according to the British Metals Recycling Association (BMRA). The ‘Building on our Industrial Strategy’ green paper released by the government is said to be a move in the right direction ‘ ‘but more can be done’, the group says.
The strategy essentially renews commitment to work with country-wide stakeholders to explore opportunities to reduce raw material demand and waste, and to promote well-functioning markets for secondary materials.
‘The scientific evidence that using scrap metal over ore concentrate is environmentally beneficial is irrefutable,’ BMRA stresses. For example, the CO2 emissions associated with producing one tonne of copper cathode is just 0.44 tonnes of CO2compared to 1.25 tonnes of CO2 when using ore concentrate. Similar CO2 savings can be seen in other metals such as iron and aluminium.
‘In the light of such compelling data, perhaps carbon capture and storage should be mandated alongside the use of secondary raw materials in preference to their primary-produced counterparts – particularly during government-led procurement processes,’ BMRA adds.
‘Equally, working with the entire supply chain, the government could begin to encourage a move towards increased openness in terms of declaring the levels of recycled content in materials, where it is physically and economically possible to do so,’ the association suggests.
Deploying ‘pull mechanisms’ that promote the use of locally-produced materials rich in recycled content, will help support a ‘thriving’ and robust national circular economy and embrace the use of innovative technologies.