Midsteel Northern Limited

How much recycled material is currently used in the UK steel industry?

Steel is the world’s most recycled material, and the UK is a major player in the global steel industry. In 2021, the UK produced 7.3 million tonnes of steel, of which 25% to 30% was made from recycled materials. This means that the UK steel industry recycled around 2 million tonnes of steel in 2021.

The Benefits of Recycling Steel

There are many benefits to recycling steel. First, it helps to conserve natural resources. Steel is made from iron ore, which is a non-renewable resource. Recycling steel helps to reduce the need to mine for new iron ore, which can have a significant impact on the environment.

Second, recycling steel saves energy. It takes less energy to melt recycled steel than to produce steel from iron ore. This means that recycling steel helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Third, recycling steel creates jobs. The UK steel industry employs around 32,000 people, and the recycling sector employs a further 73,700 people. Recycling steel helps to support these jobs and boosts the economy.

The Challenges of Recycling Steel

There are some challenges to recycling steel. One challenge is that the quality of recycled steel can vary. This can make it difficult to use recycled steel in some applications.

Another challenge is that the cost of recycling steel can be higher than the cost of producing steel from iron ore. This is because the infrastructure for recycling steel is not as well developed as the infrastructure for producing steel from iron ore.

The Future of Steel Recycling

The future of steel recycling is bright. The demand for steel is expected to grow in the coming years, and the demand for recycled steel is expected to grow along with it. This is because recycled steel is a sustainable and cost-effective alternative to virgin steel.

There are a number of things that can be done to increase the amount of steel that is recycled. One thing that can be done is to improve the quality of recycled steel. This can be done by developing new technologies for recycling steel and by improving the way that recycled steel is collected and processed.

Another thing that can be done is to reduce the cost of recycling steel. This can be done by investing in new infrastructure for recycling steel and by making it easier for businesses and individuals to recycle steel.


The steel industry in the United Kingdom is a prominent player in the worldwide steel industry, and the country is a leader in steel recycling. The advantages of recycling steel are obvious, and the future of steel recycling is promising. By investing in new technology and infrastructure, the United Kingdom can maintain its leadership in steel recycling while also helping to safeguard the environment.

Recycling steel also helps to reduce pollutants and improve air quality, in addition to the benefits described above. Steel recycling does not emit harmful emissions into the atmosphere, such as those produced by mining and smelting. This has the potential to have a large environmental impact, particularly in metropolitan settings.

Steel recycling also aids in water resource preservation. Water is used extensively while making steel from iron ore, but much less when recycling steel. This is also another significant advantage of recycling steel for the environment.

Overall, producing steel through recycling is a sustainable and eco-friendly process. It aids in resource preservation, pollution reduction, and air quality improvement. Steel recycling is a growing sector, and it has a promising future in the UK.

Midsteel Northern Limited, 2023

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