More scrap should be used in EU steel manufacturing in the future, according to the European Commission's action plan for the European steel industry. The action plan calls for an increase in the role of electric arc steel furnaces, or mini-mills, in steel production. The Brussels authority saw the re-placement of iron ore as a decisive technology trend in the procurement of raw materials needed for steelmaking.
The increase in the share of scrap recycled within Europe would require an improvement in the operation of markets for secondary raw materials. This depended on the costs of retrieving metal embedded in abandoned structures, discarded products and other waste streams relative to the price of raw materials.
In order to facilitate the reuse and recycling of scrap metals, product design should be environmentally optimised and incorporate ease of dismantling and the separation of all steel components, said the Commission in the action plan it presented this week.
The EU body also called for stricter monitoring to limit illegal scrap exports, which it said were leading to the loss of valuable raw materials for the European economy. The Commission said it will "come forward with proposals to tackle such illegal exports through strengthening of Member States' capacity for inspections under the Waste Shipment Regulation".