Many people use stainless steel for various products and processes. This metal is durable and corrosion-resistant. In addition, it is 100% recyclable. It does not have damaging effects to water or soil.
When you recycle, you are saving resources and limiting waste. Stainless steel is one of the most environmentally friendly materials to produce. However, the production process requires electricity and other non-renewable resources.
During the manufacturing process, steel is melted in an electric furnace. Using electricity helps to reduce the carbon footprint of stainless steel production. Electricity also helps to lower the carbon dioxide emissions of stainless steel.
Steel manufacture has advanced in recent years. It is now possible to produce stainless steel without using any chemicals. Instead, a protective layer is created using chromium. The alloying elements of stainless steel are easily separated and can be recovered.
Steel is made from iron and carbon. These components are combined with other materials. Metal scrap dealers collect stainless steel metal. Eventually, the scrap is reused in other industries.
Stainless steel has a long lifespan and a high recycled content. In fact, over half of the new stainless steel that is produced today has already been used for other purposes in the past. Ultimately, it is the end of the life cycle that determines the environmental impact of stainless steel.
Despite its durability, stainless steel is not biodegradable. Biodegradable materials are broken down by microorganisms. Some plants and insects can break down certain materials, such as wood. However, these materials require air and moisture to decompose.