Steel: the world’s most recycled metal [infographic]

Bars of steel - Steel: the world's most recycled metal

Steel: the most recycled metal

Screen reader version:

Has been used for over 1000 years

Is the only common metal that will stick to a magnet

Is the most recycled material on Earth

Steel is extremely economical to recycle because of its magnetic qualities and because it doesn’t lose any of its inherent strength qualities, no matter how many times it is recycled.

What is steel?

Steel is an alloy material made of iron and other elements including carbon.

You will also find the following elements present in steel


Hard facts

25 million – number of tonnes of steel products produced each year

2 million – the number of people the world steel industry employs

200 – the number of steel cans of food produced

Nicolas Appert – invented the steel can in 1810 as a way to preserve food for Napoleon’s army

2/3 – amount of cans on supermarket shelves made of steel

The lifecylce of recycled steel

Purchased – consumables are bought from the supermarket

Consumed – product is consumed or used

Disposed in recycling – waste steel is put in recycling

Collected – recycling is collected

Sorted – then sorted

Baled & compacted – products are baled and compacted for ease of transport and handling

Melted – the recovered materials are melted in a furnace

Iron added – molten iron is added

Heated – oxygen is blasted into the furnace, which is heated to 1700 degrees centigrade

Cooled & rolled – the melted metal is poured into slab moulds and rolled into coils and flat sheets

Remoulded – these sheets are used to manufacture new products

Shipped – products are shipped to shops and supermarkets

Recycled steel statistics

Recycling 1 tonne of steel saves 1.5 tonnes of iron ore, 0.5 tonnes of coal

86% saved in air pollution

40%saved in water use

76% saved in water pollution

42% – new metals made using recycled steel

62 – 74% energy saving

200 million tonnes – recycling raw materials cuts CO2 emissions by this amount every year

100% – amount of steel cans that are recyclable

2.5 billion – the number of cans recycled each year

18,000 – the weight equivalent in double-decker buses

25% – percentage of steel cans made from recycled steel

26 hours – how long you can power a 60-watt light bulb for with the energy saved from recycling seven steel cans

94% – the percentage of steel recycled when a building is demolished

Steel is an essential materials that is pivotal to our way of life and to the products we will demand for a sustainable future.

It is a unique material that can be used forever once made; it has a unique ability to be truly recycled through a closed-loop system, which will lead to the further preservation of Earth’s precious resources.

[ background=”#b6c4b3″ color=”#000000″ border=”0px solid #cccccc” shadow=”0px 0px 0px #eeeeee”]infographic courtesy[/]

image 1: Pixabay

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