Nearly three-quarters (74 per cent) of all steel packaging in Europe is recycled on average, making it the most reused packaging material in the continent.

According to, 2.7 million tonnes of steel packaging were recycled in 2012 to make new products. Over the last 20 years the recycling rate for steel has increased threefold, as people now have a greater understanding of the resource and what emission savings can be gained. Moreover, steel can be recycled again and again and because it’s magnetic, it can easily be recovered from waste streams.

The second most-recycled packaging material is aluminium, of which 70 per cent on average is recycled across Europe. Glass follows closely with 68 per cent, whereas beverage cartons and plastic are far behind, with 39 and 35 per cent respectively, reports

Alexander Mohr, APEAL (the Association of European Producers of Steel for Packaging) secretary general, says there is still some way to go until the steel packaging recycling rate hits 80 per cent, which it is targeted to do by 2020.

“APEAL has no doubt that these targets will be achieved, especially when you consider that the top five recycling countries in Europe already have an average steel recycling rate of 90 per cent,” he explains.


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