The steel industry is one most the most sustainable industries in the United States. This is partially due to investment in processes that are new and allow for the contribution to a more sustainable steel industry. It’s also because steel is actually a critical part of economic growth.
Steel, including stainless steel and galvanized steel, is one of the most recycled materials on the entire planet. Nearly 69% of steel is recycled throughout North America every year. Around the world, the recycling rate came to a high of 88% in 2012 alone. But how can steel be recycled if it’s a metal used for a variety of projects in a variety of industries?
Steel has metallurgical properties that allow it to be recycled for a series of projects, performances, and products without suffering from any degradation. The steel that is recycled is often taken from scrap, which is surprisingly abundant. Steel scrap can be taken from three different categories:
- Prompt scrap: Steel scrap that is available within months from the production of steel manufacturing products.
- Obsolete scrap: Scrap that comes from steel products that have reached the end of their period of use and needs to be replaced. This kind of scrap can take decades to accumulate due to the longevity of steel.
- Home scrap: Scrap that the steel industry produces itself within the steel mill, which can then be reused within a series of weeks.
The steel industry has also been recycling by-products of steel including steel-making slags, processing liquids, and water. Other metals such as zinc can also be reused when the industry recycles additional by-products such as steel-making sludges and dusts.
Not only is the steel industry sustainable on its own, it also helps other industries around the world become sustainable themselves. By recycling steel products, the industry helps increase the recycling of other products and consumer goods including automobiles, appliances, and steel packaging. The recycling rates of each of these products are above 70%.
Because of the steel industry’s sustainable nature and ability to recycle its products including stainless steel strapping and other strapping tools, suppliers can be assured that when they label their products as environmentally friendly it’s the truth.