#04.04.2022 WHY OPTIMISED SEPARATE COLLECTION OF STEEL PACKAGING WASTE IS APEAL’S PREFERRED ROUTE FOR INCREASED RECYCLING
By Alexis Van Maercke
On 1st February we launched our new report How to recycle steel – Why steel packaging recycles forever, at a conference organised in partnership with Parliament Magazine, From Vision to Reality; Closing the loop on steel packaging.
A key element of the hybrid conference at which the report was launched, were two industry panel debates, the first of which was led by Joachim Quoden, Managing Director, EXPRA, Clarissa Morawski, CEO and co-founder of the Reloop Platform and Tim Moerman, Sustainability & ESG Director Europe, Anhauser-Busch Inbev (ABInBev). The session focused on the first of our six key recommendations to close the loop on steel recycling, optimising separate collection.
Typically, the highest recycling rates are achieved by those countries which have implemented separate collection, meaning where waste is picked up by the waste collection company in different streams.
The panel discussion highlighted a number of important considerations for successful separate collections and shared examples. These included ensuring access and convenience to separate collection systems, mechanisms to minimise contamination and targeted interventions to improve performance. All these best practices have all been proven successful in increasing packaging recycling rates in the countries where they have been implemented.
Watch more in our highlights video here.
Our report highlights the case of Slovakia, where, under current legislation, citizens are obliged to sort waste and the municipality is obliged to provide a suitable system for sorting and collecting. The implementation of this system was key to driving an increase in the recycling rate of steel packaging from 40% in 2010 to 72% in 2019.
Clearly then, the way in which a household’s steel packaging is collected and sorted has a direct impact upon the material’s recycling performance in each country. And if all post-consumer steel packaging were to be collected as a mono-waste stream it would be of very high quality.
Ultimately, how steel packaging is collected in any area is a decision taken by stakeholders and will depend on the responsibilities and authorities of the many different stakeholders.
To achieve our vision of zero steel packaging to landfill by 2025, we believe that the best way forward is to further promote optimised separate collection routes that guarantee high-quality input into steel recycling operations. There remains much to do, but with small, fundamental changes, we can achieve our vision and take another significant step towards a truly circular economy.
A copy of the report can be downloaded here