Scrap Recycling Industry Examining Ways to Reduce Greenhouse Gases

The production of new materials from processed scrap saves energy and in turn helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) has established a technical, multi-commodity working group of operational experts to address key challenges and opportunities of climate change for industrial recyclers.

"We are aware that the scrap manufacturing process already contributes to the reduction of greenhouse gases. Our goal is promote policy that provides even greater positive impact for our communities and our economy as we face this important, long-term challenge," said ISRI president Robin Wiener.

ISRI established a technical working group of experts that includes professional recyclers of iron and steel, nonferrous metals, electronics, paper and rubber. The group will work to gather input from the industry and to develop further recommendations on ways the scrap industry can address climate change.

"Industrial scrap recyclers' methodologies have been reducing greenhouse gases for decades," Wiener said. "We are very excited about the role that our unique industry will play in helping our communities and our economy adapt to a carbon-reduced market."

According ISRI, studies show that production of new materials from processed scrap saves energy and in turn helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Producing new aluminum from old saves 95% of the energy it takes to produce cans from bauxite ore. Making new copper from old copper saves 85%. Similarly, using recycling material can save 80% of the energy for plastic, 74% for iron and steel and 64% in the production of paper.

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