Team Stainless published ‘The Global Life Cycle of Stainless Steels’, a summary of the results of a study which quantifies the stocks and flows cycle of stainless steels. Conducted by Barbara Reck, Senior Research Scientist at Yale University, the study ‘Comprehensive Multilevel Cycle of Stainless Steel in 2015’ concluded that on average, 85% of stainless steels are recycled once they reach their end of life, either to become new stainless steels (56%) or a valuable iron source for carbon steels (29%).
The study also considered the recycled content of stainless steels. Globally, the average recycled content of stainless steel was 44%. However, there were significant regional differences, for example, in the USA and Europe recycled content of stainless steels was 71% and 70% respectively.
The study also analyzed end use sector specific end-of-life flows. Household appliances and electronics and metal goods had the lowest yet high end-of-life collection rate at 80%, while building and infrastructure had an 85% end-of-life collection rate and transportation and industrial machinery accounted for the highest end-of-life collection rate at 90%.