Blog: Steel for Packaging: an ideal material for a circular economy

Steel for Packaging: an ideal material for a circular economy

Steel for Packaging: an ideal material for a circular economy

Alexis Van Maercke, Secretary General, APEAL

(Member organisation guest blogger)

9 March 2017

For 30 years now, APEAL, the Association of European Producers of Steel for Packaging, has promoted the material qualities and sustainability benefits of steel for packaging to canmakers, retailers, brands and policy makers alike.

Steel has made year-on-year recycling rate advances at a time when rates for other packaging materials appear to stagnate. 76% of steel packaging was recycled in 2014, compared to 37%, 44%, 71% and 74% for plastic, beverage cartons, aluminium beverage cans and glass respectively¹.

Yet APEAL has long shared the view that all EU member states should expand their efforts to reach higher recycling targets for all packaging materials. Waste is a resource whose recovery and reinjection into the EU economy contributes to resource efficiency, emissions reduction and the circular economy.

© Tata Steel

At APEAL we therefore welcomed the result of the January 24th vote by the European Parliament’s environment committee (ENVI) on the review of the Waste Framework Directive and Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive, two key pieces of legislation for our industry that are designed to accompany the European Commission’s Circular Economy Package (CEP).

The CEP represents a great step towards achieving higher recycling rates as well as the creation of new jobs and savings for businesses that will benefit from greater resource security.

Its swift implementation will undoubtedly be a key driver for change across the continent, bringing numerous benefits such as a harmonised EU approach, greater legal certainty and a more viable internal market for waste.

For us at APEAL the CEP is also an opportunity to further promote understanding of the benefits of recycling steel, and we will continue to promote steel as the ideal packaging material for a circular economy, helping to reduce waste and closing the material loop.

¹ Source: industry experts - APEAL, ACE, EA, FEVE; Eurostat

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