Renewable resource utilization brings obvious low-carbon, clean and green benefits as well as primary resource substitution and emission reduction pluses, which is an important way to achieve dual carbon goals. In the context of ecological advancement, the renewable resources industry ushers in a good opportunity for development.
The total volume of renewable resources recovered has continued to grow: recovered volumes of 10 categories of scrap steel, non-ferrous metals, plastics, paper and end-of-life vehicles increased from 160 million tons in 2012 to around 420 million tons in 2021.
Over that same period, capacities for utilizing renewable resources were significantly enhanced. In 2021, the total volume of scrap iron and steel resources was 270 million tons, the utilization rate of scrap paper was 54.1%, and the total output of recycled copper, aluminium, lead and zinc amounted to 15.72 million tons. Outputs of recycled copper, aluminium and lead reached, respectively, 3.65 million tons, 8 million tons and 2.7 million tons.
Over the decade, recycling enterprises were mostly concentrated in the north, east and south west of China. The recycling and sales volumes of coastal cities such as Guangdong, Tianjin, Jiangsu and Zhejiang rank among the highest, with evident industrial park agglomeration benefits. The capacities of large-scale enterprises account for half of the subdivided fields.
Industrial capacity made outstanding contributions to carbon reduction over the decade in question. As far as the renewable metals industry is concerned, at least 1.2 billion tons of raw ore, 144 million tons of standard coal, 9.6 billion cubic metres of water, 8.15 billion tons of solid waste and 2.5 million tons of sulfur dioxide were saved during the 13th Five-Year Plan period running from 2016 to 2020.
The renewable resources industry is today accelerating not only green upgrading and low-carbon transformation but also construction of a new system of green, low-carbon and circular developments.