In some markets, recycling rates for steel packaging are over 90%.
Ambitious recycling targets must be included in the impending European Circular Economy Package to drive a cultural change in the way products are manufactured, used and recycled.
That’s the key message from the Association of European Producers of Steel for Packaging (Apeal) ahead of the European Commission’s announcement this week. The long-awaited package is designed to encourage an EU-wide drive towards a more efficient and environmentally friendly economic system, which preserves diminishing natural resources.
Steel’s inherent magnetic properties and the fact it recycles forever with no loss of quality makes it the perfect permanent material to drive change, Apeal said, but it insisted that robust recycling targets must be at the heart of the Circular Economy Package in order to generate the necessary momentum to bring about the cultural change that is required.
Apeal general secretary Alexander Mohr said: “It’s very simple. The world’s natural resources are diminishing yet we continue to live in a culture wherein we rely on materials that are not recyclable, in turn creating huge volumes of waste that end up in landfill and damage the planet.
“The only effective way we can bring about the change in design, manufacturing and recycling culture that is needed to stop this is by prioritising the use of permanent materials and through setting achievable but ambitious recycling targets.”
Recent figures show that recycling rates for steel are above 75% in many European countries, as high as 90% in markets such as Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, and approaching the 75% mark in other countries.
Apeal president Dr Ulrich Roeske said: “The long-awaited European Circular Economy Package can be a key driver for change across the continent and beyond.
“At Apeal we have been thinking in life cycles for many years. Since 2006 we have delivered a comprehensive Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) on tinplate so that our customers can make informed choices about sustainable packaging solutions and help preserve the world’s natural resources.”
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