Steel packaging tops EU recycling table again

APEAL (the Association of European Producers of Steel for Packaging) recently confirmed 2013 as the best year ever for steel packaging recycling across Europe.

An outstanding European-wide recycling rate of 75% was achieved, an increase of one percent from the previous year, topping the EU recycling table.

The result also confirms steel packaging’s status as the most recycled material in Europe and represents over 20 years of continuous improvement by the sector where the recycling rate has risen more than threefold.

Alexander Mohr, secretary general of APEAL, commented: “Steel has numerous inherent qualities that underpin improving recycling rates, but this data shows that the industry is working as hard as ever to reach our voluntary objective of an 80% recycling rate by 2020.

“Steel recycles forever, with no loss of material quality and is easily recovered from any waste stream thanks to its magnetic properties.

“A tonne of recycled steel saves over one and a half times its weight in CO2 emissions, over twice its weight in raw materials and uses 70% less energy than producing steel from virgin sources.”

The ever-improving recycling rate is only one part of steel’s sustainability story – CO2 emissions from steel production have halved over the last 40 years and energy consumption has been reduced by 45% over the same period. Steel cans are 46% lighter than 30 years ago but deliver the same technical performance required from a pack such as the food can.

The methodology and data sources used for the calculation of the European steel recycling were reviewed independently by the energy and waste specialist consultancy, Eunomia, which confirmed the credibility of APEAL’s methodology and data.

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