by setting ambitious net zero emission targets.
Every year, recyclables save over 700 million tonnes in CO2 emissions, according to the Global Recycling Foundation. The organisation projects this will increase to one billion tonnes by 2030.
Major recycling companies, such as European Metal Management (EMR) and Sims Metal Management, want to help meet growing consumer demand for more eco-friendly, recycled products. In the past decade, investment in state-of-the-art technology has seen the metal recycling industry utilise vision systems, artificial intelligence (AI) and robot technology to improve the efficiency and quality of processing, creating less carbon intensive materials for manufacturers.
The industry has also developed innovative partnerships with a wide range of sectors, using its insight and expertise to ‘eco design’ the products of the future which are both less carbon intensive during their lifetimes and more easily recycled or repurposed at end-of-life. These efforts help protect biodiversity as recycling removes waste from the environment and cuts the volume of virgin material needed by manufacturers avoiding the destruction of precious habitats around the world.
Susie Burrage, President of the British Metals Recycling Association said: “All recycled materials are inherently low carbon, so metal recyclers have a great starting point as we look to cut CO2 emissions in the decades ahead. This, however, does not mitigate us of the responsibility of working on reducing our own carbon footprint. Global Recycling Day is a great reminder that we all must play our part in achieving net-zero and limit the worst effects of climate change.”
Ian Sheppard, Managing Director of Metal Recycling at EMR, said: “There’s lots of evidence that manufacturers and governments can achieve massive reductions in carbon emissions by using recovered materials. Meanwhile, the recycling sector itself is a comparatively low emissions industry, with businesses across the sector investing in improved technology and research, which will further reduce our environmental impact.”
Source: Global Recycling Foundation / Bureau of International Recycling (BIR)