Our Blog

Ben Pfannl

COP 21, Climate Change and Scrap Metal Recycling

The COP 21, an important event to combat climate change, is going on right now in Paris. What is this big meeting of world leaders, large multinational companies and environmentalists all about? And most importantly, what does it have to do with scrap metal?

Known as the COP 21, the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference is aiming to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2°C. Why is 2°C such a crucial number? It is internationally agreed that if we go above 2°C, the effects of global warming can be catastrophic for us and future generations. In other words, extreme weather would cause bigger storms and droughts. Not only would it be a threat to the natural environment and the human population but also to our national security (accourding to the Pentegon http://www.defense.gov/News-Article-View/Article/612710). These weather extremes would lead to a hotter planet that would not be a very pleasant place for us and future generations to put it lightly.

Screen Shot 2015-12-03 at 6.30.04 PM

Where does scrap metal and metal recycling fit in to all of this?

With a push to limit the amount of carbon being produced by large companies and reducing pollution as a whole, one of the big solutions to combating climate change is recycling. Metal recycling saves enormous amounts of energy from the extraction and production process.

Another large factor to consider is the scarcity of virgin materials. Some estimate that in 60 years copper, silver, and zinc resources could be exhausted.

An example of the power of recycling is best demonstrated with aluminum. “By smelting aluminum scrap, 354,000 tons of carbon dioxide, one of the main greenhouse gases, is saved per 100,000 tons of aluminum produced,” according to a study by the Imperial College in London.

Even though metal recycling has a huge potential to combat climate change, there is still a lot of room to improve. The steel industry emits 3 to 4 percent of the global greenhouse emissions (according to the International Iron and Steel Institute).

Let’s do our share. Bring in your old scrap metal, we’ll recycle it and together we will both be working on making this world a better place for us and future generations!