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#05.11.2018 Scrap acceptance at the factory gate is the final step towards a real recycling dynamic

By Alexis Van Maercke

The steel packaging recycling loop is closed when steel scrap arrives at the steel plant to undergo the final recycling process – in this case the use of scrap in the steel-making furnace.

To use steel scrap to produce new steel, the steelworks make use of the ‘European steel scrap specifications’ or other guidelines established at a national and regional level. These guidelines exist to provide a breakdown of the scrap categories accepted by the industry and the parameters defining the properties of the steel scrap that can be accepted.

The new APEAL report highlights one example in France, where steel plants have developed criteria known as the Minimal Technical Requirements (Prescriptions Techniques Minimales) which are material specific. Via a process developed by the French steel makers and communicated to municipalities and sorting centres, operators can verify compliance with the criteria set out in the Minimum Technical Requirements.

The application of quality standards across different stakeholders in the recycling value chain contributes to a high performing steel recycling system. To ensure that there are no breaks in the quality of the scrap, and that the scrap bundles are suitable for use in the production of new steel, a set of scrap specifications for steel packaging should now be defined and a category for steel packaging scrap created within the EU Steel Scrap Specifications.

This would facilitate coherence between scrap providers and sorting centres, and the receiving recycling industry.

Launched at the Steel for Packaging, a Pioneer of Circular Economy Brussels event involving representatives from the European Parliament, the European Commission, Member States and Regions, APEAL’s report: Good Practices on Separate collection, Sorting and Recycling of Steel for Packaging, has been compiled using examples of good practice from countries across the EU.

Showcasing the varied projects, systems and processes by which steel packaging is recycled the report provides detailed information for organisations and individuals wishing to learn more about a real and successful material recycling story and aiming to play a meaningful role in the drive to increase recycling and achieve a more circular economy.

Obtain the full report here