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The Role of Metal Recycling in Achieving the Sustainable Development Goal 12

10 January 2023

The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organisation that aims to maintain international peace and security. It is also intended to develop and maintain friendly relations among nations and achieve international cooperation towards achieving various goals.

Australia is a founding member of the UN and has been participating actively in the said institution for the last seven decades. Hence, the nation is already aware of the goals adopted by the UN in 2015. These goals, known as the Sustainable Development Goals or SGDs, strive to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure peace and prosperity by 2030.

A Quick Overview of the SGD 12

One of the integrated goals of SGD is SGD 12, which is to “Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.” It encourages nations and their constituents to adopt more sustainable consumption and production patterns by developing policies and adhering to international agreements on the proper management of toxic materials.

This specific point fully supports the adoption of sustainable production and consumerism. It also intends to practise efficient use of natural resources instead of depleting them. Hence, solid waste should be taken care of without harming the environment. Pollutant emissions must also be minimised as years pass by.

Overlooking Metals in Landfills

Most products today are often made from metals. From electronics to smart devices, many of them are filled with metal components that allow them to work optimally. Even the structures of buildings are made from metals. So, once these metal products and components are discarded, they might end up deteriorating in landfills.

Now, without collecting scrap metals in landfills, they can easily pollute the surface and ground waters. Some may even emit pollutants into the air, which can be dangerous for the environment. Ultimately, metal parts and products in landfills will only decompose after 50 to 500 years, which can bring more harm to the environment for a very long time.

The SGD 12 and Metal Recycling

To achieve the objectives of the SGD 12, nations and their communities are encouraged to reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling, and reuse. And given the long time needed to decompose scrap metals, it would be much more ideal for these things to be collected and recycled instead of leaving them in landfills.

Scrap metal recycling can be effectively achieved by supporting more recycling centres. By simply sending scrap products to the said centres, the number of waste products in landfills can already be reduced significantly. Of course, recycling centres may have to utilise technologies that would allow them to recover scrap metals, separate various metal materials, and carry out more processes for a more efficient scrap recycling process.

By recycling scrap metal, communities can discard their old and faulty products without ruining the environment. They can even earn some money while they dispose of their metal parts and products. Additionally, this process helps conserve raw metal materials, energy sources, and others that can be helpful for future generations.

To know more about scrap metal recycling, you can contact us at Victorian Metal Traders. We continuously strive to achieve the best possible practices and we take serious efforts to be a good responsible environmental partner.

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