Sustainable Maritime Interiors - 2022 Report

152 Metals The mining of metals causes damage to the environment and to those working in the industry. The Alliance for Responsible Mining seeks to improve conditions for mining communities, advising “reduction in use and responsible management of toxic substances, particularly mercury, in accordance with the Minamata Convention; initiatives for better water management; and environmental remediation of sites.”1 Scrap metals should be the first choice where possible due to their lower environmental impact. Iron and mild steel are the least energy- and resource-intensive metals and iron is also the most recycled metal, adding to its sustainability. Metals such as aluminium, tin, copper, brass and bronze, followed by tungsten and titanium fall somewhere in the middle of the sustainability spectrum. At the other end of the scale, gold, silver and platinum mining causes a high degree of environmental impact, while lead and mercury are harmful to health. Aluminium The Aluminium Association says, “Lightweight and strong, durable and infinitely recyclable, energy-saving aluminium is the sustainable material of choice. As we strive for a more energyefficient future, aluminium continues to provide innovative solutions and competitive advantages for businesses and consumers.” While virgin aluminium consumes a lot of energy in production, it is less than many metal alternatives and it has the advantage of being easily recycled. PRODUCTS AND MATER I ALS The flow of materials Source: US Environment Protection Agency, Sustainable Materials Management 1 Source: Alliance for Responsible Mining, Impact of the Alliance