Stainless steel is a champion of recycling. It is one of the key contributors stainless steel makes to sustainability.

Champion of recycling

60% of all new stainless steel comes from recycled material. Because stainless steel has such a long life and demand is increasing, there is not enough stainless steel scrap available for this building to be made of 100% recycled stainless steel.

Recycled for lasting value

In under four minutes, this video shows stainless steel as a champion of recycling, with around 90% of end-of-life stainless steel being collected and recycled into new stainless steel – without loss of quality. Durability and recyclability are two of the key contributions which stainless steel makes to sustainability.

This video is available in 18 languages. Clicking on the language will open the video: English, Chinese, Czech, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish (Castilian and Mexican), Swedish, Thai and Turkish

Recycling ferritic stainless steel

The purpose of this brochure is to help develop and grow the systematic separation of ferritic stainless steel scrap in the metals recycling chain, both in the factory and at the end-of-life of products.

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Raising awareness of stainless steel recycling

The International Stainless Steel Forum created an advertising campaign jointly with the Nickel Institute. The campaign is designed to inform the public that stainless steel is one of the world’s most recycled materials and that it is recycled more than paper or glass.

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Global stainless steel manufacturing and scrap cycle

The use of stainless steel has been characterized for 51 countries and the world for the years 2000 and 2005. We find that the global stainless steel flow-into-use increased by more than 30% in that 5 year period, as did additions to in-use stocks. This growth was mainly driven by China, which accounted for almost half of the global growth in stainless steel crude production and which tripled its flow into use between 2000 and 2005. The global stainless steel-specific end-of-life recycling rate increased from 66% (2000) to 70% (2005); the landfilling rate was 22% for both years, and 9% (2000) to 12% (2005) was lost into recycled carbon and alloy steels. Within just 5 years, China passed such traditionally strong stainless steel producers and users as Japan, USA, Germany, and South Korea to become the dominant player of the stainless steel industry. However, China did not produce any significant stainless steel end-of-life flows in 2000 or 2005 because its products-in-use are still too new to require replacements. Major Chinese discard flows are expected to begin between 2015 and 2020.
(Reck et al. 2010. Global stainless steel cycle exemplifies China's rise to metal dominance. Environmental Science & Technology 44 (10): 3940-3946)

Source: Yale University Center for Industrial Ecology
International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF)
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