Developing countries, focused on basic and heavy industries experiences high demand for metal. The depletion of natural mineral reserve has escalated the price of virgin metals thus producers are now increasingly shifting to the alternative source of metallic waste and scrap for the production of metals. Hence there is a high market demand for these metallic scraps in developing countries.
Among the developing countries, India is one of the largest importers of metallic waste, after China. In the year 2012, India imported more than 59 million tonnes of metal waste from high- income countries. This creates a giant need for adoption of responsible recycling procedures throughout the industry as these metals carry with them of radioactive pollution, heavy metal poisoning and imparting detrimental damage to the water and land resources. The improper disposal can lead to seepage of metals into drinking water or arable land causing fatal diseases in both humans and other living organisms. On the other hand, a lot can be achieved by recycling through recycling metal that can aid the economy as well as increase production with minimal cost.
Steel is a material most conducive for circular economy as it can be used, reused and recycled infinitely. While iron ore remains the primary source of steel making, used or re-used steel in the form of Scrap is the secondary raw material for the steel industry. Indian steel industry is characterized by the presence of a large number of small steel producers who utilize scrap with other inputs in EAF/IF for steel making. As on March 2019, 47 Electric Arc Furnaces & 1128 Induction Furnaces are operating in the country and largely depend upon scrap as a raw material to produce steel. More such methods require stringent industry expertise, government support and public participation in order to make a significant impact on the environment.