The unbeatable sustainability of steel
Sustainable steel design, manufacture and installation
As regular readers of our blog posts will know, here at Steelwork Engineering we often discuss the superior sustainability of steel. With this in mind, we thought we’d explore steel’s sustainability and the benefits offers.
The topic of the environment is rarely out of the news these days; especially when it comes to disposable, unsustainable materials such as plastic. Water bottles are an excellent example of unsustainability as although they can be recycled and turned into new bottles, the majority end up in landfill sites whilst also polluting our oceans and rivers. Environmental organisations and some governments are keen to put across the point that by buying products which can only be used once to then be thrown away, has a significant, negative impact upon the planet. So what are the benefits of manufacturing, using and reusing a sustainable material such as steel?
Steel is used and not consumed
Steel is almost unique in that it is used rather than consumed. In contrast, other materials or products are fit for a single purpose and when that purpose has been fulfilled and the product comes to the end of its natural life, it is thrown away. This analogy can be used to describe anything from a disposable plastic cup to a building such as factory which is constructed, only to be demolished years later. The point is the same for both: each has an end of shelf life.
However products such as steel are used and not consumed. One of the most significant benefits of steel is that it is completely recyclable and once it has been made, it can be recycled and then used again and again without losing any of its quality. It’s this infinite recyclability which helps to make steel so sustainable as once it has been manufactured it can be remade and used forever.
Here are some little known facts about steel – some of which might surprise you:
- 99% of the steel in scrap vehicles has already been recycled.
- Although 85% of all steel is currently recycled after first use, with the next decade global organisations anticipate that this figure will be much closer to 100%.
- Despite efficient scrappage and recycling facilities, the demand for steel is continuing to grow at an incredible rate. However, one third of the amount currently used has been recycled.
- 70% of all steel packaged is recycled in Europe – this is far higher than any other type of packing material.
Contact Steelwork Engineering for more information
Structural steel is the ideal material for use in a wide range of buildings and products, including staircases, mezzanine flooring and fire escapes. We offer a wide range of services covering all aspects of structural steel design, manufacture and installation, designed to provide our clients with sustainable, cost effective solutions. To find out more or to talk through your requirements, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.