Demand for scrap metal set to rise over the next 20 years

As the environmental benefit of using recycled materials becomes better understood in the public consciousness, the pressure on manufacturers to use recycled materials in their production increases. This pressure from consumers is having a big impact on the scrap metal market, which is now set to rise over the next two decades as a result of better environmental awareness.


Sustainability is a major consideration for both governments and private businesses. Opting to reuse scrap metal rather than importing primary metals is a great, sustainable choice for these organisations.

Tighter national and international environmental policies mean that the demand for primary metals will likely drop in favour of more environmentally sustainable recycled options. This would be a huge win for the environment as well as people looking to sell their scrap metal.


In a report published at the end of 2020, Wood Mackenzie estimated that we can reduce carbon emissions by 600 megatons each year by reusing steel and aluminium scrap and, because of this, demand for recycled metals will overtake the demand for primary metals in the next twenty years. They predict an increase in annual steel scrap usage of 200 megatons by 2040.

Principal analyst and ferrous metals market expert Renate Featherstone suggested that in Europe the only problem might be that scrap-smelting cannot keep up with demand. Featherstone believes that government waste management policy changes are needed to ensure scrap metals are properly recycled into the industry rather than exported, making the most of the large resource of scrap metal we have waiting to be recycled rather than importing costly primary metals that hurt our planet and our pockets!


The increase in demand for scrap comes as welcome news following a dip in the market triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, following the announcement of a working vaccine that would be rolled out to the masses, the scrap metal market began to recover – great news for scrap metal yards nationwide. What’s even better news is that we now think this trend will continue upwards throughout the next two decades!

If you’re interested in selling your scrap, we’re able to provide a COVID-secure drive-in service here at Singleton’s, allowing you to bring us your scrap in a way that’s safe, efficient, and in line with social distancing guidelines. We’re open six days a week for your convenience and we’ll weigh and evaluate your scrap as you wait. Let us know if you have any questions; we look forward to welcoming you to Singleton’s this year!

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