Metals of all kinds are a significant part of our everyday lives, and their use and consumption are only increasing with time. Products made out of metal typically have a certain lifespan, post which they get ready for retirement, indeed to make way for the new ones. When at the end of their lifecycle, these products are often thrown away or dumped, and this act exposes the planet to a set of harmful consequences. As the scrap metal gets piled into the landfill, multiple toxic chemicals get released that contaminate the water, air and soil, while also posing a threat to the lives of humans, plants and animals.
Moreover, as more and more metals simply get discarded, the process of mining is frequently repeated for the extraction of new metals. This process is extremely dangerous for the environment, as it emits a massive volume of greenhouse gases. The air pollution in India has already crawled up to reach alarming levels, and it is extremely necessary to control these harmful emissions to ensure optimum health and well-being of the Indian masses.
Fortunately, as with all other challenges, this one too has a solution.
The Smart Solution – Metal Recycling
When the scrap metal is recycled, there are umpteen numbers of benefits that are derived. Firstly, the process of recycling emits very less greenhouse gases, as compared to the process of mining. As per FICCI research, recycling of ferrous metals can reduce emissions by 59 per cent, while that of steel waste can lower water pollution by 76 percent and air pollution by 86 percent. Further, when a tonne of aluminium undergoes recycling, almost nine tonnes of CO2 emissions are saved from being released into the atmosphere. Clearly, metal recycling is an environment-friendly process that can help the country in achieving its target of becoming carbon-free by 2070.
Secondly, metal recycling reduces the need to produce fresh, new metal from natural resources, which can very well be preserved. It therefore ensures effective utilization of existing resources. As per a study, every tonne of aluminium recycled conserves five tonnes of bauxite. Further, metals can even undergo continuous recycling, with the assurance that their original properties and qualities are duly retained. Thus, waste metal can be easily reused for a variety of different purposes. Consequently, the need to create new metal automatically fades way, which is a good piece of news for the environment lovers.
Moreover, the process of metal recycling is fairly economical, when compared to the process of new metal production. It also increases the chances of recovering various precious metals, and this can drive India towards becoming self-sufficient in the future.
While a lot of metal reuse and recycling is already taking place in India and the industry has started to grow at a decent pace, the scope for more is still tremendous. Over the years, various start-ups have taken a dive into the space, and have come up with various innovative means to recycle scrap metal. Adequate government support in the form of simplified policies and regulations can give a push to these organisations who are committed towards environmental protection. Spreading awareness on the critical role of metal recycling is also one of the key steps towards building a clean, green environment that can pave the way for a better, sustainable future.
Disclaimer: The views expressed are the author’s own and APAC News Network is not responsible for any of them.