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Rigid metal recycling hits European record

  Tuesday, 5 April 2016

The amount of steel packaging and aluminium beverage cans recycled reached record levels in 2013, with over three million tonnes in total being re-used.

As a result, the recycling rate of rigid metal packaging has risen to a new record of 74.7 per cent, and represented a 1.1 per cent improvement over the previous year’s figures.

In 2013, aluminium drinks cans were recycled at a rate of 71.3 per cent, with steel packaging slightly higher at 75.2 per cent.

The data for the study was provided by the Packaging Group of European Aluminium as well as APEAL (the Association of European Producers of Steel for Packaging) and was reviewed by Eunomia, an independent consultancy. Interestingly, the metal packaging recycling firm remains the only packaging industry to ensure that its figures are verified by a third party.

The metal packaging sector has continued to improve its recycling rates well over and above both the European and national metal recycling rates, and is currently more than on track to meet its own voluntary target of 80 per cent for metal packaging in Europe by 2020.

Aluminium and steel can both be recycled almost infinitely due to their qualities as permanent materials and, as such, offer real support to the development of the circular economy.

Peter Lockley, chairman of Metal Packaging Europe, said:

“In order to move towards a true resource efficient recycling society, it is key that we make a clear distinction between recycling which leads to the gradual degradation of the material and recycling which keeps the material in the loop without losing its intrinsic material characteristics.”

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