That activity has brought the recycling rate of rigid metal packaging to a new record of 74.7%.
The extra recycled tonnage in 2013 equals an increase of 1.1 percentage points over 2012.
In 2013 aluminium beverage cans were recycled at a rate of 71.3%. Steel packaging was recycled at a rate of 75.2%. As in the previous 3 years, the original data provided by the Packaging Group of European Aluminium and APEAL (the Association of European Producers of Steel for Packaging), has been reviewed by the independent consultancy Eunomia. This makes the metal packaging industry still the only packaging industry which ensures a third party verification of its recycling figures.
With this increase, the metal packaging sector continues to improve its recycling rates, over and above the minimum European and national metal recycling rates, and is well on track to reach the industry’s voluntary objective of 80% recycling of metal packaging in Europe by 2020.
As permanent materials, aluminium and steel can be recycled over and over again without loss of quality. Through multiple recycling, metals make a real contribution to closing the material loop and supporting the development of the circular economy.
“The ‘metal forever’ story is a perfect example of the circular economy at work,” said Peter Lockley, chairman of Metal Packaging Europe. “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.