Why the US may need to stop exporting non-fiber materials, a new report says
A report from the US Congressional Research Service has found that the country is using up all of its non-metal recyclables, and it doesn’t have enough non-metals to meet its environmental needs.
“The US has about 5,000 tons of non-mesh scrap metal and another 4,000 tonnes of nonmetal scrap,” said John Rafferty, senior fellow at the non-profit Center for American Progress.
“They have an annual stockpile of nonmetals of approximately 100 tons and we’ve got about 8,000 of them,” he said.
The report says that non-METAL scrap metal is a waste product of the US manufacturing process, and is “largely non-renewable” and used for everything from fuel and plastics to construction materials and industrial equipment.
It notes that the US imports almost 80 percent of its industrial non-recyclable scrap, and that over half of it ends up in landfills.
Rafferty noted that nonmetallic scrap can be recycled in two ways: by spinning it in a furnace, or by heating it to generate electricity.
The US imports over 75 percent of the world’s non-rustic scrap metal, and uses it in all kinds of products including metal-cutting equipment, furniture, plastics and industrial machinery, he said, and “there’s an enormous potential” to recycle it in other ways.
Rappaport said the US is the biggest importer of nonfiber material in the world.
“If we are to meet our environmental needs, we need to reduce the volume of nonmesh materials that we import,” he told Al Jazeera.
“We’re going to have to do this through other means, including through new recycling programs, new recycling technologies, and a new way of doing business.”
A lack of nonferrous materials means the US doesn’t produce enough metal to meet the needs of the country, and the country relies on nonferry metals as its only form of metal to produce consumer products.
“Nonferrous is a critical resource for our economy,” Rappaport told Aljazeera.
The report’s findings came after a 2016 report from Congress called The Future of America’s Steel. “
It’s the only thing we’ve been able to do to make sure that we’ve met our needs and we’re not compromising the integrity of our economy.”
The report’s findings came after a 2016 report from Congress called The Future of America’s Steel.
The report argued that steel imports were being driven by a “toxic environment of pollution and destruction”.
The US is currently the largest importer in the EU, which imports more steel than any other major economy.
According to the report, there are now 2.2 million tonnes of steel produced in the US, and only 9 percent of it is nonferric.
The non-manufacturing industry produces approximately 50 percent of US steel, and as many as 70 percent of nonmanufacturing steel is used in the manufacturing of products like consumer products, building materials and vehicles.
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