Steel packaging hits its own industry record 3 years early…

Going from strength to strength, recycling of steel packaging in Europe has hit an all-time high of 80.5% (2017 figures). So where do we go from here?

There is change on the horizon.

Steel packaging reached the self-appointed industry target of 80% steel recycling by 2020. It’s a target we set back in 2012, and we’ve reached it three years ahead of schedule.

In the words of secretary general Alexis Van Maercke who made the announcement “This is another major achievement for the industry, and sends a loud and clear message to brands, manufacturers and retailers that it is high time more emphasis was placed on this tried, tested and sustainable packaging solution.”

At the same time new legislation is being introduced that governs the way recycling rates are calculated. Current calculations for recycling vary from one member state to another, with some calculating for example the tonnages collected and others the tonnages sorted. The EC has therefore harmonised calculation points, and the new measurement, applicable from 2020, will be at input to the real recycling operation. This means that from 2020, all recycling rates will probably go down because material collected for recycling can include impurities – extra moisture due to rain for example – that were previously allowed to inflate certain recycling rates. 

By harmonising the calculation point for recycling, the EC creates a level playing field for all member states and for all packaging materials by focusing on real recycling.

In line with this change we’ll be using the global platform of Interpack 2020 to launch a new vision for a more circular and sustainable future.  Watch this space…