What Is Steel? Are Steel Products an Eco-Friendly Choice?
Steel is an alloy of iron, containing a few percentages (>2%) of carbon, small amounts of silicon, phosphorus, sulfur, oxygen, and 1% of manganese to improve its strength, make it fracture and corrosion-resistant. Iron in its raw form has corrosion issues and is a soft material, making it an average candidate as an engineering and construction material. Stainless steel products are used in almost every aspect of our lives, from cutlery to construction!
The history of steel can be traced back to the times where there was an emergence of iron, 2000 years back into the Iron Age.
Now, steel has a lot of applications and we are going to talk about some features and environmental effects of using steel products, and in some parts, a particular one, steel spoons! Steel spoons are a sustainable alternative to disposable plastic spoons which as we are all aware, have been creating havoc in the environment, our landfills, and our oceans!
Advantages of Using Stainless Steel Products:
1. Durable, long-lasting, and corrosion resistant:
Steel is an energy-intensive product which means it is an extremely durable material that has gone through various heating and cooling production processes to make it a hard, corrosion-resistant, and strong product. Stainless steel is almost indestructible. It is highly resistant to corrosion and rust. hence steel products can last for a lifetime.
2. Hassle-free cleaning:
Stainless steel products have smooth, non-porous, and hard surfaces, hence they are easy to clean. You can use a sponge and normal tap water to clean them. Above all avoid usage of harsh scrubs since they tend to leave scratch marks on the surfaces. For cleaning petite products like straws, you can simply use a coir straw cleaner and some soap water.
3. Stainless Steel Products Ease of Care:
Caring for steel items requires very low maintenance as compared to wooden items which tend to absorb food particles and lack hygiene after a few uses. They are mould resistant hence do not tend to be a breeding ground for bacteria and germs. Store in a dry place after proper cleaning and usage.
Steel items are re-usable for life and can be recycled. Stats show that only 9% of all the plastic is never even recycled while 80% of steel items end up being recycled and the new, recycled metal ends up being the raw material for new products and can be used indefinitely. Ivermectin for sale In other words they tend to be a one-time investment and can last for a lifetime with proper care and regular cleaning.
5. No leaching, no harm:
Steel products don’t tend to leach while being used in hot beverages and they are non-porous as opposed to wood, therefore they are safe to use.
6. Waste Creation:
Most plastic products especially straws are designed with a use-and-throw idea and a quick disposal mindset, which tends to create large proportions of plastic waste. While metal products like steel straws are created to use them for a lifetime.
7. Manufacturing Process:
Stainless steel requires an energy-intensive manufacturing process but the production is not dangerous to the atmosphere or the people involved in the making of it. In addition there are no toxic runoffs or harmful chemicals used. Since the basic and main raw material in the manufacturing process is scrap metal, and steel is a recyclable material, the existence of steel products in one way or another definitely leads to zero to no waste creation.
8. Heat conductor:
Steel can be a bit tricky to use due to it being a metal; which means it conducts heat and one needs to be careful while using it for a hot beverage since the heat transfer can turn out to be risky while using products like a straw.
9. Storage and Handling:
It is essential to store steel straws in a proper space since they can lead to accidents and injuries if not kept in a safe place. Although these products are kid-friendly, it is advisable to instruct people to use the straws in a calm, non-hazardous manner, when it comes to usage as well as storage.
Disadvantages of using Stainless Steel Products:
1. Leaching Qualities:
Stainless steel products can contain iron, chromium, and nickel, which have no nutritional benefit for the body. Therefore we should avoid using the straw with extremely hot beverages as they tend to leach and end up being harmful to your body. Moreover, the risk of getting a burn also exists.
2. Discolouration Issues:
Stainless steel products can discolour under high heat or when exposed to saltwater.
3. Fancier pricing as compared to a plastic alternate:
Plastic can be a cheaper option when it comes to straws but the downsides to its usage are many. Steel straws can be a long-term, environmental-friendly investment and therefore be a much smarter choice.
What is the rating of Steel on our Sustainability Scale?
We have considered specific factors responsible for making a material a sustainable one and steel stands at 2.5 out of 5!
|Natural / replenish-able||0.5|
|Recyclable / Reusable||1|
|Carbon footprint ( Manufacturing )||0|
|RATING Out of 5||2.5|
You can compare steel products/ cutlery with other alternatives.
Steel is the world’s most recycled material! Over 25 billion tonnes of steel have been recycled globally since 1900 owing to steel’s 100% recyclability.