Circular economy

Steel - central to the circular economy

Circular economy

Steel is 100% recyclable – a permanent material that underpins the economy, but also contributes to environmental goals by reducing the use of virgin raw materials and CO2 emissions.

Steel is at the centre of the circular economy. Steel is a permanent material – this is to say, it can be recovered and recycled endlessly, without losing its essential properties.

Steel production, use and recycling naturally follows a circular pattern, with steel products returning to the cycle once their service life has ended.

The large volumes of steel produced in Europe every year – 160 million tonnes – are made with large amounts of scrap steel. 56% of EU steel is made from scrap, with around 100 million tonnes of scrap steel recycled every year.

In 2020, the EU published a Circular Economy Action Plan. This Action Plan is an important step in developing a truly circular economy in Europe. 

Published: 27 March 2020. Most recent update: 27 March 2020.

The European Steel Association (EUROFER)
172 Avenue de Cortenbergh
1000 Brussels


Phone: +32 (0) 2 738 79 20