Facts & Figures
Recycling is an essential activity in modern life, especially when natural resources become increasingly scarcer in a highly competing global society. The recycling industry counts with centuries of tradition, being active since the Industrial Revolution, and provides current economies with high quality materials for safe and reliable products that are present in every corner of our daily life.
For example, recycled ferrous metals are used for high quality steel contained in machinery, equipment and construction materials. Recycled non-ferrous metals can also be found in many essential products, such as cars, airplanes, food cans, electric equipment and cables. Furthermore, we benefit every day from the high quality of the recycled paper and board in our domestic products, books, office material and packaging, among many others.
But the quality achieved by constant innovation and development of a sophisticated industry is not the only advantage that consumers enjoy. The society as a whole profits from the urgently needed social and environmental benefits that recycling companies already offer. Particularly for Europe, recycling has a key role to play by providing a secure and sustainable source of domestic raw materials for its downstream industries, while it creates many new jobs and helps to achieve a genuine EU industrial renaissance by 2020. Europe is also taking great advantage of the recycling industry in terms of trade balance. The recycling sector is, for many materials, a net exporter, which contributes to balance the trade deficit caused by imports of primary raw materials and to remain market-driven industry.
Choosing recycled materials also means combatting climate change by drastically reducing the energy required for extraction, production and transport of raw materials, as well as supporting local, not outsourceable companies and workforce, being many of them small and medium enterprises. Opting for recycled materials means fostering a circular economy as well, in which, what has been considered “waste” for too long, is in fact regarded as a valuable resource for today’s and future generations.