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Social issues

There is a limited supply of metal ore on Earth. These resources will eventually be depleted.

Recycling metal is important because it:

  • keeps metal available for future generations,
  • reduces the greenhouse emissions that result from having to produce new metal from ores and
  • eliminates the cost associated with having to produce new metal from ores.

No metal is currently entirely recycled. According to a 2010 study, 79% of lead in the United States was recycled, making it one of the most recycled metals.

Zinc was one of the least recycled metals (only 27% in the US was recycled).

International symbol for recycling
International symbol for recycling