Recycling International January/February issue 2023
Page 12 from: Recycling International January/February issue 2023
RECORD ALUMINIUM CAN RECYCLING ACROSS
The recycling rate for aluminium beverage cans in the European
Union, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Norway and Iceland stands
Despite a three-point drop compared to 2019, a 9% growth of cans
consumed means that recycled aluminium reached a record level of
510 000 tonnes, according to a new report by Metal Packaging Europe
and European Aluminium.
It says it is an increase of more than 20 000 tonnes compared to the
previous year and represents a total greenhouse gas emissions saving
of 4.2 million tonnes of CO2e – equivalent to the GHG emissions pro-
duced by a European city of nearly half a million inhabitants like
Toulouse or Gdansk.
The report points out that most EU Member States now report at the
point of entrance of a recycling facility, instead of the collection phase.
This has resulted in lower figures for most packaging materials.
Can manufacturers and their aluminium suppliers welcome the new
data and say that despite new EU recycling reporting rules and the
‘spectacular growth’ in cans consumed, the total tonnage of recycled
aluminium cans has increased.
‘We are fully supportive of the new EU recycling reporting rules as
they measure “real” recycling and we are pleased to notice that this
has resulted in only a very minor and likely only temporary drop in the
can recycling rate,’ says Léonie Knox-Peebles, ceo of Metal Packaging
Europe. ‘The aluminium beverage can already meets the highest recy-
clability performance grade of 95% as proposed in the new draft for a
Packaging & Packaging Waste Regulation.’
‘With more countries turning to deposit return schemes (DRS), we
will be able to recycle more cans via a can-to-can remelting solution,’
comments Maarten Labberton, director, packaging group at European
Aluminium. ‘We are calling upon those countries with classic EPR
systems to invest more in the collection and sorting of the whole
aluminium packaging fraction in order to fully close the material
INDIA-NZ COLLABORATION TO ADVANCE STEEL
Indian firm JSW Steel and New Zealand recycler National Steel
Holdings are setting up a metal recycling plant in the Raigad
district of Maharashtra. Around EUR 1.9 million will be invest-
ed in the joint venture.
The new site will be developed on 12 hectares of land near JSW’s
existing steel plant in Dolvi, which has a processing capacity of 10
million tonnes a year. It is scheduled to open at the end of 2024.
According to the business partners, their collaboration initiated in
August will realise scrap shredding plants equipped with state-of-
the-art machinery using innovative recycling methods.
‘While many may regard JSW as part of the problem, we think of
ourselves as part of the solution as well,’ says Sajjan Jindal, chair-
man of the board at the Indian steelmaker. He emphasises JSW’s
ambition to create sustainable steel, adding: ‘We are committed
not just in words but thought, time, effort and resources to make
our sustainability vision a reality.’
THE BEAUTY QUEEN OF SCRAP
They say that beauty is in the
eye of the beholder. It’s
rare that people see
the beauty in scrap,
2022, has demon-
strated it’s not
only possible –
scrap can be glam-
By Kirstin Linnenkoper
Miss Thailand wore an evening
dress during the 71st Miss Universe competition made almost
entirely of aluminium beverage pull tabs. She explains it was
not a publicity stunt, rather a tribute to her parents: her father
is a garbage collector and her mother is a street sweeper.
The symbolic statement, which has earned Sueangam-Iam the
title ‘The Garbage Beauty Queen’, was widely appreciated by
both judges and audience members at the New Orleans
event. The dress was ‘upcycled’ by Swarovski, which decorat-
ed it with hundreds of diamonds.
The young woman says this is meant to signal everyone’s
potential if only you look beyond the surface. ‘Don’t get stuck
with murky surroundings you were born into but do believe
you have the power to change your own life for the better.’
Her home country, with a population of 71.3 people, gener-
ates around 28 million tonnes of waste per year. Plastic scrap
accounts for roughly 2 million tonnes (or 12%).
Market analysts at Statista estimate that Thailand recycled a
total of 7.9 million tonnes of solid waste in 2021. This repre-
sents a significantly drop in volume compared to 2020 levels
(almost 25 million tonnes), thought to be in large part due to
The nation’s average recycling rate is around 85% for munici-
pal waste and roughly 17.5% for end-of-life plastics.
While Sueangam-Iam wasn’t crowned the winner (first place
went to the USA), I think it’s fair to say she has the right to call
herself Miss Green Universe. Our industry could use more con-
fident and creative role models to put recycling on the map.
Having Miss Thailand in our corner can’t hurt, can it?
It would be great to see a competition celebrating scrap-
inspired costumes. One ending with a ceremony where the
winner receives a tiara made of recycled metals. (The usual
prize money, roughly US$ 100 000, could go towards improv-
ing recycling in emerging economies.)
People are visual creatures, after all. Perhaps if it learns to see
recyclables in a different, more desirable context, society will
finally understand the inherent value of scrap and, with that,
the importance of the circular economy.
Shine on, Miss Thailand!
NOVELIS OPENS NEW WINDOW INTO RECYCLED
Aluminium recycler Novelis has
struck a partnership with
Velux Group to provide high-
aluminium for use in Velux roof
The agreement will contribute
to Velux’s goal to halve emis-
sions from the value chain by
2030. It also aims to reach
below 4 kg carbon emitted per kilogram of supplied rolled aluminium by the
end of 2024. Velux says this is well below half the average carbon footprint
of primary aluminium used in Europe.
It will be achieved by ensuring the aluminium used will have a recycled con-
tent of around 70% – an increase of around 30% from what Novelis currently
supplies to Velux.
‘The Novelis agreement marks our second strategic aluminium partnership
this year as we accelerate actions to decarbonise our products and value
chain,’ says Nikolaj Cederquist, vice president of global procurement, Velux
Group. ‘Our scope 3 carbon emissions are our largest and they are also the
hardest for us to reduce, which is why partnerships will help us go far and
Novelis has reported net sales of US$ 17.1 billion (EUR 17 billion) in fiscal
year 2022. The aluminium leader supports the circular economy and uses an
average of 57% recycled content across its product range.
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