The continued increase in the use of metals over the 21st century has led to a substantial change from below the ground to above the ground in the form of application in society. As for which changes brought by such shift in society, economy and environment, we have to have a basic understanding of the in-use stocks of metals worldwide.
Copper and aluminum are of vital importance in the development of various industries. The capacity of copper decides the usage of copper, which is widely used for electrical infrastructure in buildings. It is certain that stocks in cities of more-developed countries possess significantly higher amounts in-use stocks per capita than in cities of less developed countries. For instance, the capital of America, the amount of copper in-use stocks per capita is nearly four times higher than in Cape Town, South Africa.
As with the example of copper, differences are in in-use stocks can be seen in the case of aluminum. Japan and America possess the highest in-use stocks and exceed the value of China by 9 and 13 times. Besides, the average values of per capita in-use stocks of aluminum for Europe, Japan and America are more than four times higher than the world average value.
From the above, we know that most in-use stocks residue in developed countries, therefore those developing countries should have closely watch about this trend so as not to be controlled by other countries. Meanwhile, metals resources are non-renewable resources; hence adopting coping strategy in time is very necessary. Metal recycling is inevitable way to realize economy’s sustainable development.
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