Press release: Better framework conditions for iron and steel slags

Press release

Better framework conditions for iron and steel slags

EU Circular Economy Action Plan

Duisburg, 13th March 2020. One of the central strategies of the EU Green Deal of December 2019 for a sustainable future is the promotion of recycling management. This week, the EU presented a new action plan for this. It stresses the importance of secondary raw materials, the marketing of which is to be promoted throughout the EU, not least through public procurement. EUROSLAG, the European network for the production, use and development of iron and steel slags, a by-product of steel production, and FEhS – Building Materials Institute welcome these measures. “The use of products made from iron and steel slag avoids the use of natural resources. In addition, by-products from the steel industry make a significant contribution to climate protection. For example, CO2 emissions have been reduced by more than 200 million tonnes in recent decades through the use of granulated blast furnace slag in cement production in Germany alone. The present action plan improves the framework conditions on a European level and sets important ecological and economic course for the future”, says Thomas Reiche, Chairman of the Board of EUROSLAG and Managing Director of the FEhS Institute.

An essential prerequisite for the increased use of slag-containing building materials and fertilisers is the conditional preferential treatment of secondary raw materials in public procurement, which accounts for 14 percent of the European domestic product. “We hope that the measures of the action plan on “Green Public Procurement” will be implemented quickly. Because the partly common practice of demanding exclusively natural stone in tenders, although products made of iron and steel slag are technically and ecologically equivalent, contradicts the goals of the EU”, Reiche continued.

A further demand of the EU is the creation of a market for secondary raw materials. Of particular importance in this context is the creation of uniform criteria for by-products that promote recycling and the end of the waste characteristics of materials. 

Against the background of making the EU climate-neutral by 2050, the “Circular Economy Action Plan” provides comprehensive measures for a sustainable economy. They concern product design, information and control mechanisms for consumers and administrations, and production processes, for example in electronic devices, packaging, plastics, buildings and food.