How can recycling metals help preserve the environment?

According to research by FICCI, recycling ferrous metals in India has the potential to reduce emissions by 59%, which is a remarkable statistic. According to the same report, recycling scrap steel could reduce water pollution by 76% and air pollution by 86%.

Extracting metals from the Earth requires a significant amount of energy and resources. Metal mining and processing employ millions of people. Not only that, but ongoing mining and metal processing can lead to increased pollution and devastation to the ecosystem.

India’s cities are among the most polluted in the world. This is cause for concern, but what is more concerning is that many Indian companies, committed to reducing pollution and environmental degradation, only recycle a small fraction of what is recyclable. Unlike plastic and paper, India has a low level of metal recycling awareness. Either way, recycling metals is just as important to the environment as recycling paper, plastic, and other commonly recycled items. Here’s how recycling metals can help the environment:

Reduced demand for landfills: Landfills are a major source of chemical and visual pollution and are a popular method of waste management. India produces 62 million tons of waste each year and is growing at a rate of 4% per year. According to research, by 2030 India will need an 88 square kilometer landfill, almost the size of Bangalore, to dispose of all its waste. On the other hand, recycling scrap metal can reduce the demand for landfills, resulting in cleaner air, water, and soil.

Beneficial to manufacturers: Recycling metals benefits a variety of industries and businesses. Industries using metals frequently generate a significant amount of scrap metal after producing their goods, so instead of throwing it away, recycling scrap metal can help improve the economy and help create new jobs. According to the National Institute of Health, incinerating 10,000 tons of waste creates one job, while disposing of the waste in a landfill creates six. However, recycling the same waste will provide 36 jobs.

Reusing scrap reduces visual pollution: Metal mine excavation areas tend to be depleted over time and miners move to new areas in search of metals to extract. As a result, most areas have excavation holes. Recycling metals decreases the environmental impact of mining by providing an alternative to unrefined ore. Mining activities disrupt natural ecosystems and pollute the surrounding air, water and soil. Therefore, metal recycling is essential to reduce visual pollution associated with metal mining.

Reduce energy consumption: Manufacturing/production of metals for raw materials is extremely energy intensive. In fact, making 20 cans from recycled metal requires about the same amount of energy as making a can from raw materials. The energy costs of metals like aluminum and copper can be reduced by more than 75% by using recycled metal instead of natural resources.

The need to recycle:

Although there are many reasons to recycle, the biggest and most important is to find an alternative to natural resources. It reduces the need to work with virgin metal, further preserving coal and iron ore, which are used to produce metal. According to a report, coal accounted for 43% of global greenhouse gas emissions in 2010. Therefore, resources such as coal must be considered as burning them is a major cause of global warming. It is also known that the majority of recyclable materials come from industrial or commercial sources. These materials generally pass through the recycling infrastructure without too much trouble and are recycled into clean, high-quality, market-grade products that are used as sustainable substitutes for virgin materials all over the world.

In conclusion, I would like to emphasize that recycling is the only way for businesses to continue to operate and ensure the future of the metal fabrication industry. Recycling is a simple and effective way to demonstrate corporate responsibility, and recyclers are aware of the public perception of the industry.



The opinions expressed above are those of the author.