Recycling of steel packaging in Europe has hit a new all-time high of 82.5%, according to new data by the Association of European Producers of Steel for Packaging (APEAL).
This new record confirms steel as Europe’s most recycled primary packaging material, says organisation secretary general Alexis Van Maercke. It also means that more than 8 out of 10 steel items put on the EU market this year have been recycled into new steel products.
The steady rise in recycling rates is largely the result of increased separate collection in countries such as Italy and Poland. There are currently over 500 steel plants across Europe.
‘A recycling increase of two percentage points sends a clear message to all stakeholders in the value chain that steel for packaging is a tried, tested and sustainable packaging solution, fit for a 21st century circular economy,’ Van Maerke comments. ‘As 100% of separately collected steel packaging is used to make new products; so steel is clearly the best placed of all packaging materials to achieve the aims of the new Circular Economy Action Plan.’
However, APEAL urges that there is no room for complacency. The industry has achieved a great deal already, but must continue to strive towards the improvement of collection and recycling of steel packaging throughout the EU.
Van Maercke adds: ‘Indeed, we welcomed the European Commission’s ambition to harmonise separate collection of packaging waste streams in the EU, demonstrated in the new action plan. Separate collection is the best way of guaranteeing high-quality input into recycling operations.’
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