China to increase steel recycling 23% by 2025

China is the world’s top metals consumer. In 2021 China recycled 80 percent of the 600 million tons of all solid waste produced by its steel industry.

In July 2021 the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said China would raise the substitution rate of renewable resources to primary resources and enhance utilisation of low-grade ores, tailing dams and other resources.

In 2020 China recycled around 260 million tonnes of scap steel, which replaced up to 410 million tonnes of 62% of its iron ore input, according to the NDRC.

It has pledged by 2025 to increase steel scrap recycling to 320 million tonnes. China imports more than one billion tonnes of iron ore per year, accounting for more than 80% of its total consumption.

Workers dismantle scrap metal at a steel plant in Huaian, Jiangsu province, China – 2019.

In next five years, according to the Fourteenth Five-Year Plan, China will increase steel scrap recycling by 23%. The NDRC said the plan will help the China meet its carbon peak and carbon neutrality goals.

On December 3, 2021, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) issued a notice on the “Fourteenth Five-Year Plan for Industrial Green Development”, which emphasizes greater recycling of renewable resources to improve efficient resource utilisation.

Shanghai Metals Market (SMM) reported that China will under the plan build large-scale integrated centres for the environmental friendly sorting, treatment, and distribution of iron and steel scrap. According to MIIT, by 2025 China aims to recycle and re-use 320 million tonnes of steel scrap. 

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