On global recycling day, the british metals recycling association on why recycling metal is a five-star idea

Young woman collecting plastic trash from the beach and putting it into black plastic bags for recycle. Cleaning and recycling concept

A leading trade association has highlighted five reasons why recycling metals can boost the environment and your pocket as it launches a new campaign.

This Global Recycling Day, the British Metals Recycling Association (BMRA), as part of its support to drive awareness of metals recycling, is asking people to think ‘What Will You Save?’

Commenting, James Kelly, CEO of the BMRA, said: “Metal is the most recyclable material in the world. It can be recycled time and again without any loss to quality and has a substantial impact on the environment when recycling it into a secondary raw material.

“BMRA is using Global Recycling Day to once again highlight the benefits of recycling metal, not only to the environment but also your pockets.”

The BMRA says metals recycling can help reduce emissions, safeguard natural habitats, save energy, preserve resources and generate money. For example, did you know that recycling just one aluminium can save enough energy to run a TV for around 3 hours.

Mr Kelly added: “Metal has a value, so if you have some old metal to be recycled, it can be weighed in at a metal recyclers and you can be paid for it via BACS, cheque or e-transfer. This is ideal if you are raising money for charity, local schools or community projects, even saving for your summer holiday.”

The BMRA is encouraging people to share on social media what they are saving when they recycle their metal to help further spread the word and boost conversations around metals recycling. Take part using #GRD2024.

Benefits of recycling metal:

Recycling metal emits 80% less carbon dioxide (CO₂) than production from raw materials needed to make brand new metal. EU figures indicate that using recycled raw materials, including metals, cuts CO₂) emissions by some 200 million tonnes every year.

Recycling one tonne of steel saves one and a half tonnes of iron ore being mined, thus protecting woodlands and other natural habitats.

Recycling metal also saves precious natural resources because 40% less water is used, and half a tonne of coal is saved per tonne.

Recycling steel uses 70% less energy than mining and refining virgin ore. The BMRA has recently set up a Sustainability Hub for its members, giving them access to information and resources to further reduce the energy they use when processing and recycling metal.

You can also get paid for your scrap metal – meaning those who clear out unwanted metal items could have some extra cash to save for something special or even donate to charity. Do note that it is illegal to be paid cash for your scrap metal. Ensure the metal recycler you use pays via cheque, BACs or e-transfer. You will also need identification to sell your scrap metal. Get in touch with the yard you intend to use to check the requirements.

Metal is 100% recyclable, it is permanent, and it can be recycled forever, over and over again. The process of recycling varies for different metals but generally recycling produces metals of equivalent quality to primary material.