Reports & Studies

#22.01.2018 APEAL good practices in separate collection, sorting and recycling of steel for packaging

Produced by APEAL, the Association of European Producers of Steel for Packaging, this report examines the diverse routes discarded steel packaging takes, to become a secondary raw material which will be used to manufacture a new steel product.

Good practices in separate collection, sorting and recycling of steel for packaging showcases the varied projects, systems and processes via which steel packaging is recycled, closing the material loop. It is intended to serve as a central reference for examples of good practice which contribute to the recycling rate of steel for packaging. Between being placed in a dry recyclables bin and used once again at a steel plant after sorting and processing, used steel packaging can be subject to a wide range of processes. These include separate collection, household waste collections, sorting at Material Recovery Facilities (MRFs), extraction via Mechanical-Biological Treatment and recovery from bottom ashes.

All of these systems contribute to the delivery of used steel packaging as a secondary raw material that is ready to be recycled at the steelworks and used in the production of new steel products.

A permanent material that can be infinitely recycled to make high quality products, steel can be easily sorted out from the waste stream due to its magnetic properties which make it the most economical packaging material to sort, recover and recycle, over and over again. The 2016 recycling rate is 79.5%, making steel for packaging the most recycled packaging material in Europe, bringing ever-greater savings in emissions, resource and energy use3, making steel the perfect material for the circular economy.

Providing a representative sample, this report highlights examples which APEAL believes constitute best practice in different geographical areas across Europe.