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Circular Economy: Sustainability & Net Zero 2050

Metals are an important part of the circular economy for any advanced nation, as they are well suited for reuse and remanufacturing.  Metals are almost infinitely recyclable and can be classed as pernanent materials.  However, capturing the full environmental benefits of metal products also requires good product design to ensure components can be easily disassembled and a supportive regulatory environment to enable the full benefits of the circular economy to be realised in support of UK plc.

At the same time the UK Metals Sector recognises that they are a strategic part of the supply chain for UK infrastructure projects and for all the high value manufacturing sectors, inlcuding renewable energy, electric vehicles and rail transport.

The sector will require a road map in order to maximise energy effficiencies and enable the transition towards net zero metal processing, whilst maintaining competitiveness.  

Proposed action one: To support the creation of a road map for the sector to enable it to transition to Net Zero

Working with government and other sectors, the industry will support the creation of a circular economy by promoting the value of metals as a material capable of true recycling and re-use.

It will advocate product design strategies that ameliorate separation and reuse or recycling and encourage the use of bi-products that derive from manufacturing processes in the metals sector.

Proposed action two: To maximise sustainability

To embed an ethos of sustainability across the sector, the UK Metals Industry will encourage the mind-set of sharing best practice, particularly amongst smaller companies.

To support the development of a sustainable circular economy, commitments sought from policymakers may include:

  • Recognising and promoting metals as a permanent material and thereby maximising their use in a future circular economy.
  • Developing a regulatory system that supports and encourages the use of responsibly produced, UK-based metals products while supporting re-use, remanufacture and recycling.
  • Pushing the Industrial Decarbonisation and Energy Efficiency Roadmap to 2050, and developing it into a comprehensive action plan.

The UKMC is committed to ensuring the sector is engaged with the UK Clean Growth Strategy, the Resources and Waste Strategy (for England) and can contribute to the UK's goal of reaching Net Zero by 2050.



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