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#19.03.2015 Steel the example in European Environment Agency report

What an endorsement! The European Environment Agency (EAA) use steel as THE example of resource efficiency in its recent synthesis report, “The European environment — state and outlook 2015” (SOER 2015), published earlier this month.

The report evaluates the state and prospects for Europe in a global context, looks at European environmental policy implementation between 2015 and 2020 and analyses opportunities to recalibrate policies and knowledge in line with the 2050 vision of living well within the limits of the planet.

I was really pleased to see the report reaffirm the notion of the waste-free circular economy as central to boosting resource efficiency, especially given the Commission’s recent scrapping of the Circular Economy Package and the higher recycling targets set by the Packaging and Packaging Waste directive contained within.

Interestingly for us at APEAL the report draws attention to the “significant opportunities for increased recycling in many countries”, the “substantial” waste generation that continues within Europe and “mixed performance relative to policy targets”. At the same time steel is used as an example of how recycling materials can help Europe meet a substantial proportion of its raw material demand. It’s certainly good news for us at APEAL to see the efforts of our industry and partners recognised in this way.

More importantly, we are encouraged that the report underlines the opportunities to improve resource efficiency across the EU and we hope that this will input the new Circular Economy package expected later this year.

Our industry has declared its own objective to reach 80% steel recycling and zero steel packaging to landfill by 2020. If Europe is to become more resource efficient, we believe legislation will be crucial in pushing all materials across all EU member states to similar commitments and improve their sustainability performance.

Access the full SOER 2015 report here.