Time to accelerate recycling

18 March is the official Global Recycling Day. This is a good opportunity for us all to consider how we use our resources. There is a strong political focus on sustainability and recycling right now, and fortunately much is being done to ensure even better utilisation of our resources. However, there is still room for improvement.
Global Recycling Day 2020

Great potential for more recycling

There is a strong political focus on sustainability and recycling right now, and fortunately much is being done to ensure even better utilisation of our resources. However, there is still room for improvement.

According to a 2018 World Bank report, 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗪𝗲𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗻 𝘄𝗼𝗿𝗹𝗱 𝘄𝗲 𝗿𝗲𝗰𝘆𝗰𝗹𝗲 𝘄𝗲𝗹𝗹 𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗿 𝗮 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗿𝗱 of our waste. That 𝗳𝗶𝗴𝘂𝗿𝗲 𝗶𝘀 𝗼𝗻𝗹𝘆 𝟰% 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗹𝗼𝘄-𝗶𝗻𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗲 𝗰𝗼𝘂𝗻𝘁𝗿𝗶𝗲𝘀. In other words, there is a huge potential to increase recycling considerably, if only the will is there. Global Recycling Day is all about raising individual awareness about the importance of sorting waste — and not least to put pressure on decision-makers to ensure substantial investments in new recycling facilities.

𝗪𝗲 𝗺𝗮𝗸𝗲 𝗶𝘁 𝗲𝗮𝘀𝘆 𝘁𝗼 𝗴𝗲𝘁 𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗿𝘁𝗲𝗱
At Metso Recycling, we see ourselves as a significant part of the solution when it comes to direct recycling. Our broad shredder programme makes it possible to shred 𝘄𝗮𝘀𝘁𝗲 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘀𝗰𝗿𝗮𝗽 𝗺𝗲𝘁𝗮𝗹, as well as numerous other fractions, to make it easier to manage in the further processing of new materials. We can tailor solutions to the customer’s exact specifications (e.g. in terms of capacity and sorting) and have a strong contingency of experts to advise about giving resources a new life.

Can you guess what the two figures represent?

The 𝟴.𝟯 𝗯𝗶𝗹𝗹𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗲𝘀 represent the amount of plastic that calculations show that has been produced in the just six decades during which plastic has existed. And the other figure – 𝟵𝟭% – represents the part of the plastic production that according to Royal Statistical Society’s extensive studies is not being recycled. That means that𝗮𝗿𝗼𝘂𝗻𝗱 𝟳.𝟱 𝗯𝗶𝗹𝗹𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗼𝗻𝗻𝗲𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝗽𝗹𝗮𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗰 𝗵𝗮𝘃𝗲 𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝗯𝗲𝗲𝗻 𝗿𝗲𝗰𝘆𝗰𝗹𝗲𝗱 𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘆𝗲𝗮𝗿𝘀.

A terrifying number.
 
This year alone, approximately 250 million tonnes of new plastic will be produced, so perhaps the researchers will be right when they predict that 𝗯𝘆 𝟮𝟬𝟱𝟬 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗼𝗰𝗲𝗮𝗻𝘀 𝘄𝗶𝗹𝗹 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝘁𝗮𝗶𝗻 𝗺𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝗽𝗹𝗮𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗰 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝗻 𝗳𝗶𝘀𝗵. And as you might remember from your biology classes, every piece of plastic can affect streams and ecosystems for centuries.𝗣𝗹𝗮𝘀𝘁𝗶𝗰 𝗮𝗰𝗰𝗼𝘂𝗻𝘁𝘀 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝟭𝟮% 𝗼𝗳 𝗼𝘂𝗿 𝘄𝗮𝘀𝘁𝗲 and is therefore an obvious area to apply the circular approach.

Scrap metal has more lives than cats

Scrap metal recycling involves the recovery and processing of scrap metal from end-of-life products, so that it can be used in the production of new goods. It is an extremely valuable resource that can be reused repeatedly. If you put your used metal waste in the right place, our machines will shred it so it can be reborn.

The benefits are both a far lower carbon footprint and more efficient use of resources than new material.

𝗙𝗮𝗰𝘁𝘀 𝗮𝗯𝗼𝘂𝘁 𝗿𝗲𝗰𝘆𝗰𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗺𝗲𝘁𝗮𝗹
• Around 𝟵𝟬% 𝗼𝗳 𝘀𝘁𝗮𝗶𝗻𝗹𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝘀𝘁𝗲𝗲𝗹 𝗽𝗿𝗼𝗱𝘂𝗰𝘁𝘀 are recycled at the end of their useful lifecycle
• 𝗦𝘁𝗲𝗲𝗹 𝗶𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗺𝗼𝘀𝘁 𝗿𝗲𝗰𝘆𝗰𝗹𝗲𝗱 𝗺𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗮𝗹 by weight and can be recycled infinitely
• 𝗦𝘁𝗲𝗲𝗹 requires 𝟲𝟬% 𝗹𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝗲𝗻𝗲𝗿𝗴𝘆 𝘁𝗼 𝗿𝗲𝗰𝘆𝗰𝗹𝗲 than to produce from mining new materials
• 𝗔𝗹𝘂𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗶𝘂𝗺 requires 𝟵𝟱% 𝗹𝗲𝘀𝘀 𝗲𝗻𝗲𝗿𝗴𝘆 𝘁𝗼 𝗿𝗲𝗰𝘆𝗰𝗹𝗲 than to produce from raw materials
• Around 90% of stainless steel products are recycled at the end of their useful lifecycle

Why care?

"Recycling makes perfect sense in every way. It protects the environment; it limits the extraction of new resources and it keeps commodity prices low so we can produce cheaper products. With a strong focus on creating a more sustainable world, Metso is dedicated to preserving our natural resources through the transformation of waste and scrap metal into valuable secondary resources."

Uffe Hansen, President, Recycling Business Area