How Is Scrap Metal Used Today?

One of the great things about metal is that it is relatively easy to recycle into new components and products at the end of its working life. Most metals can be simply melted down in order to turn them into new ingots which manufacturers can subsequently use in any way they choose. That said, metal that has been alloyed or covered in some sort of coating takes more energy and time to recycle. Nevertheless, scrap metal recycling is widespread throughout the globe these days. What are the various uses that recycled metal can be put to?


The transportation sector is one of the most important buyers of recycled metal. For example, nearly all of the metal components that go into a new car are derived from recycled materials. Only very specialist components or not. In other words, nearly all of the engine of a brand-new car would have been used in some other form before. Indeed, the bodywork of most cars is made from recycled metal, too. When it comes to the aerospace industry, only lightweight metals will do. Therefore, much of the worlds recycled aluminium goes into making components for aircraft. This includes working parts of the plane plus the fuselage in most of the world's jetliners.


Electrical wiring is very efficient when it is made out of metals like copper. Although it is quite possible to use other metals to carry electrical power, copper tends to be favoured because it is so efficient. Therefore, a high proportion of the world's recycled copper gets turned into new wiring. It is not just power cables that are constructed from scrap copper, either. Data cables are, too. The average high-speed Ethernet cable is also made from repurposed and resheathed copper.


Sometimes scrap metal does not need to be reprocessed at all in order to find a new use. Many artists like to use old metal objects in new forms in order to create artwork. There are several artists around the world to make freestanding structures from repurposed metal items, often welding them together. Because metal is a durable material, scrap art derived from it often features in public places as sculpture. It has a permanence that often appeals to creative people.

Food Packaging

Lots of metal finds a new life in food packaging. Products like roasting trays and fast food containers are often made from recycled metals. Of course, sheet metal is often used in the home to wrap food up in. This, too, is principally derived from recycled sources which would have been scrapped a few decades ago.