EU Steel Industry Urges Consistency To Measure “Real” Recycling

steel-recyclingAn association that represents steel companies and steel federations throughout the EU is urging that the revised Waste Framework Directive to keep its definition of the “final recycling” process.

The Environment Committee (ENVI) of the European Parliament (EP) will vote on 24 January to finalise its report on the revision of the Waste Framework Directive. The European Steel Association (EUROFER) is calling for the provision on “final recycling” – originally proposed by the European Commission – is retained in order to measure “real” recycling.

Axel Eggert, director general of EUROFER, said: “Steel is 100% recyclable and the steel industry is itself one of the largest recyclers in Europe. The scrap sourced by steel companies is efficiently transformed by our industrial processes into various products.”

“It is therefore important that the revision of the Waste Framework Directive recognises this through the adoption of the definition of final recycling process, in order to better support recycling in Europe.”

“It is therefore important that the revision of the Waste Framework Directive recognises this through the adoption of the definition of final recycling process, in order to better support recycling in Europe.”

“Passing from the various existing recycling calculation methodologies to just one new methodology cannot be achieved overnight, but it is necessary and needs the cooperation of all the stakeholders involved”, added Mr Eggert. “The measurement of ‘real recycling’ – ie, assessing the recycling rates at the input into the final recycling process – is one of the cornerstones that needs to be in place to build-up a functioning circular economy in which unintended trade-offs are avoided.

“EUROFER call on the European Parliament to support this view, laying thus the foundation elements of the Circular Economy within the Waste Framework Directive.”.

Steel & The Circular Economy

Steel is a 100% recyclable, “permanent” material, which loses none of its unique properties when properly processed. The European steel industry works to ensure that the steel it produces can be reused, recovered, and recycled. It also ensures that steel production’s by-products, such as slags and process, gases are put to the best possible uses.

This EUROFER says that steel can help mitigate CO2 emissions and help reduce product lifecycle emissions. Steel’s characteristic as a ‘permanent’ material means it can be easily reused and subsequently recycled in a constant loop.

To this end, it proposes that the recycling definition in the EU’s waste legislation be adapted to properly meet the aspirations of the circular economy.

The European steel industry has a turnover of around €170bn and directly employs 330,000 highly-skilled people, producing on average 170m tonnes of steel per year. More than 500 steel production sites across 24 EU member states provides direct and indirect employment to millions more European citizens. Closely integrated with Europe’s manufacturing and construction industries, steel is the backbone for development, growth and employment in Europe.

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