We are all aware that we need to recycle as much as possible in order to lessen our impact on the environment and protect the world's natural resources, but do we ever give a thought as to what happens to all our empty bean tins once they have been transported away?
After collection, steel scrap metal and steel cans are taken to a refinery where they are put into a furnace and melted. Molten iron is added at this stage, oxygen is blasted into the furnace and it is heated to 1700 degrees centigrade. The melted metal is then poured into slab moulds, cooled and rolled into coils or flat sheets and the sheets are used to manufacture new products.
The products are then transported to shops and supermarkets and eventually find their way into our shopping baskets and trolleys. As soon as the product is used or consumed it will then be put out to await collection by the local recycling agencies.
On arrival at the sorting area the products are baled and compacted for ease of handling, then transported to the refinery for the process to begin all over again. The amazing thing about steel is that it is a unique material that can be used forever once made.
It is an essential material that is pivotal to our way of life as it is a major component in buildings, infrastructure, tools, ships, automobiles, machines and appliances. Our infographic has more facts and figures about this amazing metal.