Steel for Packaging leaders call for ambitious recycling rates

#30.11.2015 Steel for Packaging leaders call for ambitious recycling rates

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 APEAL, the Association of European Producers of Steel for Packaging, ahead of the highly anticipated European Commission announcement.

APEAL, made up of four of the largest packaging steel companies – ArcelorMittal, Tata Steel Packaging, thyssenkrupp Packaging Steel, U.S. Steel Košice – welcomes the long-awaited package which 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.

However, APEAL leaders insist 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.

Alexander Mohr, General Secretary of APEAL, 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.

The latest figures show steel recycling rates above 75% in many European countries including Portugal, Spain, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Norway Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary.

Meanwhile, in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, recycling rates are now even above 90%.

Promisingly, other nations are closing in on the 75% mark while those with lower rates such as Poland are engaging in the process of improving their infrastructure to help bring their recycling levels up.

Dr Ulrich Roeske, President of APEAL, 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.”