Steel is a very commonly used metal in the UK because it is strong and durable. Steel uses a lot of energy to make, but the good news is that it can be recycled over and over again.

So by recycling, a lot of energy can be saved by not mining at all! Steel is easy to recognise, as it is magnetic, making it easy for machines to sort it from other recycled materials.

Waste steel is melted down with limestone and iron ore. It is then poured into moulds and cooled until it sets, then chopped up into chunks of steel.

Did You Know?

  • 3 out of 4 cans in the UK are made of steel, which means about 15 billion cans each year!
  • Each year 2 billion cans are recycled in Britain
  • When steel is recycled, it can be used on cars, bridges, buildings or even another can
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  • It takes the same amount of energy to recycle 4 cans as it does to make just 1 in the first place!
  • 450 tonnes of steel cans were recycled in Bristol alone last year
  • Recycled steel is often used for pipes, ship hulls, and bike frames.
  • Each household uses approximately 600 steel cans per year
  • All steel cans contain around 25% recycled steel

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