APEAL (the Association of European Producers of Steel for Packaging) has released the latest European steel recycling figures.
In 2012, 2.7 million tonnes of steel packaging were recycled to make new steel products, corresponding to an average European rate of 74%. This reinforces the long term trend for steel as the most recycled packaging material in Europe.
Steel packaging’s recycling rate has increased threefold over the last 20 years thanks to a combination of its infinite recyclability, the ease with which magnetic steel can be recovered from the waste stream and recycled, and an understanding of the resource and emissions savings to be gained.
Alexander Mohr, Secretary General of APEAL, commented: “These figures evidence a continued dedication to the recycling of steel packaging and just how big an impact it can have in driving up rates.
“While steel maintains its position as the most recycled packaging material in Europe, it is clear there is still some work to be done in order for the industry to hit its vision of 80% recycling rate by 2020.
“APEAL has no doubt that these targets will be achieved especially when you consider that the top five recycling countries in Europe already have an average steel recycling rate of 90%.”
Steel remains the most recycled packaging material in Europe. Plastic, beverage cartons, aluminium and glass demonstrate rates of 35%, 39%, 68% and 70% respectively (according to latest available data).
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.
Michael Bennett of specialist packaging PR and communications consultancy Pelican said: “The growth in the steel recycling rate has been impressive. Many newer materials may appear attractive to brand owners, but they have a long way to go if they are to match the recycling performance of steel for packaging.”
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