The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) has established a technical, multicommodity working group of operational experts to address key challenges and opportunities of climate change for industrial recyclers.
"Substantively addressing the issue of global climate change requires sound decision making that goes beyond mission statements," said ISRI president Robin Wiener. "We are aware that the scrap manufacturing process already contributes to the reduction of greenhouse gases. Our goal is promote policy that provides even greater positive impact for our communities and our economy as we face this important, long-term challenge."
ISRI has invited representatives of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (SEPW) to deliver global warming presentations during its summer board meeting in Washington. EPA demonstrated through its environmental benefits calculators the enormous savings that professional recyclers have on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. SEPW staff suggested the need for the scrap industry to develop technical guidelines to support EPA's calculations.
As a result, ISRI established a group of technical experts that includes professional recyclers of iron and steel, nonferrous metals, electronics, paper and rubber. The group will work to gather input from the industry and to develop further recommendations on ways the scrap industry can address climate change.
"Industrial scrap recyclers' methodologies have been reducing greenhouse gases for decades," Wiener said. "We are very excited about the role that our unique industry will play in helping our communities and our economy adapt to a carbon-reduced market."
As businesses, schools, and governments work to develop climate change policy, recycling must be an essential part of the plan. Studies show that production of new materials from processed scrap saves energy and in turn helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Producing new aluminum from old saves 95% of the energy it takes to produce cans from bauxite ore. Making new copper from old copper saves 85%. Similarly, using recycling material can save 80% of the energy for plastic, 74% for iron and steel, and 64% in the production of paper.
Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. (ISRI) is described to be the "Voice of the Recycling Industry." ISRI represents over 1,500 companies in 21 nationwide chapters that process, broker, and consume scrap commodities, including metals, paper, plastics, glass, rubber, electronics, and textiles. With headquarters in Washington, D.C., the Institute provides education, advocacy, and compliance training, and promotes public awareness of the vital role recycling plays in the U.S. economy, global trade and environment. For more information about ISRI, please visit http://www.isri.org/.
Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries