Sustainable Development Goals

A recycling champion

Copper is completely recyclable. It can be used again and again without losing any of its properties.

Recycled copper can be used in exactly the same way as newly mined copper which accounts for the estimated two-thirds of the 550 million tonnes of copper produced since 1900, still being in productive use.

With increasing demand for the metal, copper is used in a multitude of ways, but by far, the main use is in electrical applications which accounts for around 70% of its usage. The remaining 30% is for nonelectrical applications such as touch surfaces, building and design material and in agriculture.

 

Recycled copper requires 85% less energy than primary production. On a global scale, this saves 40 million tonnes of CO2 or the equivalent emissions of 16 million cars.

Over the last ten years, over a third of annual copper use is derived from recycled sources. The ability to recycle such a large quantity of the metal means a much more sustainable production process with significantly less water and energy usage and far less waste. Recycling not only allows us to meet market demand but most importantly, it minimises the impact on the environment and safeguards our future. More about recycled copper 

View Copper's contribution to the EU's circular economy