Rates of recycling for steel packaging in Europe have reached “all-time high” levels, according to the Association of European Producers of Steel for Packaging (Apeal).
Apeal said that Europe-wide recycling of steel stood at 76%. The record rate, taken from data for 2014, confirms steel as Europe’s most recycled packaging material for the tenth consecutive year and sees the recycling rate of steel packaging pull further away from that of other packaging materials, the trade body added.
The lowest rate of conversion among the 28 European Union (EU) countries, as well as Norway and Switzerland, was found in Croatia. Latvia and Slovenia tied for the second worst rate of recycling, with 51.8% each, while the UK recorded the lowest rate of steel recycling in Western Europe.
Hungary recorded the highest rate of steel recycling in the EU, pipping Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands to the top spot.
The methodology and data sources used were independently reviewed, audited and certified by energy and waste consultancy Eunomia.
Alexander Mohr, secretary general of Apeal, said: “Steel has a number of inherent qualities that have contributed significantly to making it Europe’s most recycled packaging material, bringing us ever closer to a circular economy.
“Steel is easily and economically recovered from any waste stream thanks to its magnetic properties. As a permanent material, steel recycles forever with no loss of quality.”
But the high rates of steel recycling was owing to more than just that, Mohr added.
“The industry’s foresight in driving improvements and continuing work to inform brand and consumer packaging choice and environmental policy has led us to this point,” Mohr continued.
“By sharing best practices across Europe we are confident that we will meet our self-imposed target of 80% recycling by 2020.”
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2019