Essingen/Lünen. According to the leading German metal recyclers, Scholz and TSR, German industry urgently needs to switch over to recycled raw materials. Despite the country’s high collection rates, Germany is still not recycling enough. The joint position paper published by the two companies in Berlin on Wednesday estimates that less than one fifth of all raw materials used by German industrial businesses are sourced from the recycling sector. They are, therefore, calling on politicians to set up a national recycling council. This should then drive forward recycling and make the very most of its potential to protect the environment.
“As a leading industrial nation, it is our duty to take over more responsibility for the environment and to handle our dwindling raw materials more sensibly. The only way to do this is to have effective recycling systems in place and have a genuine circular economy,” explained Dr Klaus Hauschulte, managing director of Scholz Recycling GmbH. Especially as the majority of the raw materials needed by German industry have to be imported. And they are totally dependent on imports when it comes to metals. “This alone is a good reason for ensuring that the raw materials that do come into our country stay here by making sure they are recovered, recycled and reused,” Dr Hauschulte added.
Both companies are calling on Parliament to see recycling as a general government task and to create suitable framework conditions together with all the market players. Bernd Fleschenberg, managing director of TSR Recycling GmbH & Co. KG, commented: “Manufacturers must think about how the raw materials they use can be recovered and recycled when they design their products. Which is why it is really important to adapt the Ecodesign Directive.” Even the most modern recycling facilities are having difficulties separating the latest composite materials and in some cases it is simply not possible. The recyclability of a new product must, therefore, be taken into account when it is being designed.
Looking at Germany, there needs to be a system in place that allows industrial businesses, scientists and the recycling sector to work together more closely. “Which is why we are suggesting that a think tank should be set up. A round table which allows all the players to put their heads together and come up with sustainable solutions and act as an important advisory committee to the national recycling council,” Bernd Fleschenberg continued.
Scholz and TSR’s goal is to create a closer raw material partnership between industrial businesses and the recycling sector. The reason behind this is clear: despite the high recycling rates, too few of the recovered raw materials are actually used by the industrial sector. Even though metals, such as copper, iron and aluminium, can be reused again and again with no loss in quality.
The problem: compared to their primary counterparts, recycled raw materials are often more expensive. German environmental regulations regarding transport, storage, processing and trained personnel are very strict and rightly so but this also means higher costs in many cases. Having said this, recycling consumes far less energy than is needed to mine primary raw materials and produces far fewer carbon emissions. Aluminium recycling, for example, cuts energy consumption by 94% and carbon emissions by 83%. Recycling also means the raw materials remain in the country reducing industry’s dependency on imports.
With this in mind, both recycling companies are calling on the German government to support more recycling research projects to enable innovative and sustainable solutions to be found.
About Scholz Recycling
“Recycling. Resources. Responsibility.” This is the mission of Scholz Recycling GmbH, one of the leading businesses specialising in processing, recycling and trading in steel and metal scrap. With their network of state-of-the-art facilities, work processes and over 250 branches in Europe, the USA and Mexico, Scholz and its subsidiaries ensure that closed loop systems are in place for many recycled raw materials.
About TSR Recycling
TSR is one of the leading companies on the European market for recycling ferrous and non-ferrous metals. With 140 branches and 2,500 employees across Europe, TSR has an annual turnover of 2.8 billion euros (2017) and processes more than 7.8 million tonnes (2017) of scrap metal every year. The company makes a significant contribution towards conserving natural resources and protecting the environment and is an important supplier of recycled raw materials. Over and over again. With absolutely no loss in quality.
Further information / contact person:
TSR Recycling GmbH & Co. KG
Press Officer TSR Recycling