Circular metals and global value chains
After the opening speech of Susie Burrage, President of EuRIC Non-Ferrous Metal Recycling and Trade Branch (EUROMETREC), stressing the enormous contribution of metal recycling to the economy and environmental protection, Hildegard Bentele, Member of the European Parliament, highlighted the key role of metals, in particular critical raw materials, for Europe’s green transition. Dr. Frank Pothen, Head of Fraunhofer IMW branch, Center for Economics of Materials CEM, joined the keynote session to further elaborate on the study made for the BDSV on steel scrap recycling benefits. Linking it with EU’s Green Deal and Circular Economy strategic priorities, Dr. Pothen outlined the CO2 and energy savings stemming from steel scrap use in steelmaking and eluded to the need to reward these benefits in order to level the playing field with extracted raw materials.
Moving to the panel discussion, Maria Nyberg, Policy Officer at Energy Intensive Industries and Raw Materials, DG Grow, European Commission, outlined how the European Commission’s New Industrial Strategy aims at boosting the secondary raw materials markets. Axel Eggert, Director General of EUROFER, highlighted the need to level the playing field and ensure that exports of waste meet equivalent conditions to the ones imposed by European legislation. Tom Bird, President of BIR, made the point that free and fair trade is vital to the recycling industry’s competitiveness, thus a crucial success factor to transitioning towards a more circular economy. Thomas Papageorgiou, President of EuRIC Ferrous Recycling Branch (EFR), talked about the importance of carefully balancing measures which can impact trade as Europe’s supply for most raw materials from recycling exceeds the demand, which is the case for steel scrap. Wrapping up on the previous interventions, Murat BAYRAM, Director and Head of EMR European Non-Ferrous, added that free and fair trade of non-ferrous metal scrap is vital to the recycling industry’s competitiveness and ability to invest in innovation to recover hard to recycle materials.
Olivier Francois, Vice-President of EuRIC, concluded the debate by stressing the inherent global nature of metals in general and the readiness of the recycling industry to provide high quality recycled materials provided there is a market in Europe, which adequately value the environmental and economic benefits it brings to society as a whole.