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#17.12.2014 Blog post: The ‘Recycles Forever’ Logo and The Circular Economy Package

APEAL recently joined other rigid metal packagingindustry players and trade bodies in developing the “Recycles Forever” logo to engage and educate consumers to better understand their role in keeping metals such as steel in a ‘forever loop’ by recycling their used packaging.

To quote Anders Linde, general secretary of Metal Packaging Europe, “European consumers purchase more than 80 billion products per year in rigid metal packaging and many of them do not appreciate the environmental value of recycling their empty packaging.”

While it is important that consumers are involved in the recycling of steel packaging, it is equally important that trade bodies, manufacturers, waste management organisations and legislators ensure that recycling is as simple and efficient as possible.

Steel will always have a natural advantage over its competitors due to magnetic qualities which make steel easy and economical to sort and extract from any waste stream.  Because steel scrap is an inherent part of the production process for new steel, every single steel plant across Europe is also a recycling plant, so no need to invest in specific recycling plants, or transport long distance. And the value of recycled steel is made evident when you consider that 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.

We are extremely concerned that the European Commission has decided to drop the Circular Economy Package. What could be better a bigger EU priority than turning waste into a resource, creating jobs, making business more competitive and increasing resource efficiency?

Many stakeholders involved in the production and recycling of competitive materials have publicly expressed their concerns with the higher targets (80% recycling for steel, aluminium and glass packaging by 2025, 60% for plastics and a ban on landfilling of all recyclable waste by 2025).

We at APEAL have for many years now promoted higher recycling rates and zero steel packaging to landfill. Our industry objective has long been 80% steel recycling by 2020. If Europe is to move towards a more resource efficient future, legislation will be crucial in pushing all materials across all EU member states to improve their performance. We look forward to an equally, if not more, ambitious new proposal from the Commission.