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#05.02.2015 World Steel Association and #steeltalks

Last Tuesday 27th January, the World Steel Association, which promotes steel and the steel industry to customers, the industry, media and the general public, hosted a Twitter debate called #steeltalks, “Why is steel the competitive material of choice in a sustainable world?”

With more than 250 participants the topic made for a superb conversation among industry professionals.

Business leaders, other steel associations and leading academics took part as participants and were invited to ask questions and offer up opinions and thoughts around steel and sustainability.

APEAL participated and I was really encouraged by the enthusiasm on show – it was also exciting to field a few questions on current steel packaging recycling rates (74% in 2012.)

The innovative nature and adaptability of the industry was evident throughout the debate, and while much of the conversation focussed on steel’s application in the automotive and construction industries, the discussion highlighted many of the attributes of steel that make it an exceptional packaging format – 100% recyclability, high recycling rates and permanent material status.

The economic value of steel was also widely discussed. The global steel industry employs more than eight million people worldwide and spends over €10.5 billion a year on improving manufacturing processes, and developing new products and innovative materials.

But the debate actually says a lot more about the industry. It is evidence of a modern approach of communicate and a transparency that is not always present among material manufacturers.

The positivity on show when looking back over the tweets in the debate should fill everyone involved with the steel industry with optimism. The steel industry is showing that it can adapt and innovate. It is a vibrant sector and custodian of a truly valuable material resource, both in terms of its economic influence and its environmental benefits.

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