Rolled zinc is recyclable
Zinc and sustainability
Zinc is potentially 100% recyclable. In Europe, 95 % of old rolled zinc is recycled. The success of rolled zinc recycling is due to a very well organised recycling market:
Easy to dismantle
At the end of their life, rolled zinc products in building applications have traditionally been recovered by roofers and plumbers. Old zinc is mainly collected from light building renovation work, such as the replacement of rainwater systems or a whole roof, or less often from the demolition of an old building. Taking into account the quantity of rolled zinc used in building applications in Western Europe, old rolled zinc resources are estimated at over 100,000 tons/year, mainly concentrated in France, Germany and Benelux. Due to high purchase prices and widespread and stable uses for this type of scrap material in Europe, the annual resource will remain at least at current levels for the next decade or longer.
Zinc scrap prices are significantly lower than the London Metal Exchange (LME) price for pure zinc ingots.
The main users for old rolled zinc products are secondary zinc refiners, brass and oxide producers, all located in Europe. Although 100 % of the recovered old zinc (or resource) is recyclable, in reality the recovery rate is currently at least 95% of the resource.
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