Material loop for packaging steel works – top figure for material utilisation achieved
According to gvm’s (Gesellschaft für Verpackungsmarktforschung GmbH) annual “Recycling Balance Sheet for Packaging,” 91% of used tinplate packaging was materially recycled in Germany in 2016. Packaging steel once again performed significantly better than all other packaging materials.
Christian Pürschel, head of communications and market development at thyssenkrupp in Andernach, said: “Used tinplate packaging is collected, sorted, bundled, prepared and used in the form of quality scrap for high-quality recycling within a closed material loop.
“The fact that the overall recycling rate corresponds here 100% to the material utilisation is not surprising because steel does not burn and can always be materially recycled. This offers significant benefits for the environment and contributes to the preservation of valuable resources.”
Every steelwork uses scrap steel for producing crude steel. The result is steel whose material properties remain good no matter how many times it is recycled. “In contrast, other materials need to pass through one or more recycling cycles before they still need to be disposed of at some stage after all,” explained Pürschel. Due to the loss-free recyclability of used steel in steel production, the recycled quantities replace primary raw materials such as iron ore, coking coal and additives. In addition, this process reduces CO2 emissions.
One of the reasons for the consistently high recycling performance in Germany is the extensive commitment of thyssenkrupp to closing the material loop. With the foundation of the DWR (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Weißblechrecycling mbH) and its involvement in the non-profit company KBS Kreislaufsystem Blechverpackungen Stahl GmbH, thyssenkrupp has actively contributed to the recycling both of privately-consumed steel packaging and also commercially-produced quantities for many decades and ensured that it is fed back into steel production in a professional and targeted manner.