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Steel packaging recycling in Europe reaches 79.5%

According to figures issued by the Association of European Producers of Steel for Packaging (Apeal), recycling of steel packaging in Europe has reached a new high of 79.5% and is well on track to reach the industry’s self-imposed target of 80% by 2020.

This new all-time high, representing data from 2016, means that for every ten items of steel packaging put on the European market, close to eight have been collected, effectively recycled and made available for the manufacture of new steel products.

With an increase of 2% points on 2015 data, steel for packaging’s recycling rate is pulling ever further away from that of other packaging materials.

It’s a real example of circular economy and confirms steel as Europe’s most recycled packaging material for the 12th consecutive year. The methodology and data sources used by Apeal to calculate the recycling rate have been independently reviewed, audited and certified by energy and waste specialist consultancy, Eunomia.

Alexis Van Maercke, secretary general of Apeal, said: “Being so close to our 2020 industry target is a great achievement. It shows that a truly circular economy which reduces waste, saves resources and closes the material loop is well within reach of the EU.

“With the new Circular Economy Package the EU has adopted higher recycling targets for all members states. Apeal will continue to drive the sharing of good practices for higher recycling, as well as to increase awareness of sustainable packaging choices and inform environmental policy.”

Indeed, the news follows the launch of a new report from Apeal: Good Practices on Separate collection, Sorting and Recycling of Steel for Packaging which was formally released at the Steel for Packaging, a Pioneer of Circular Economy conference, held in Brussels.

The report, compiled using examples of good practice from countries across the EU, showcases the varied projects, systems and processes by which steel packaging is recycled and is destined to help all stakeholders play a meaningful role in the drive to increase recycling and achieve a more circular economy.

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