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Recycling Of Steel Packaging Has Reached A Higher Than Ever Rate

- Nov 29, 2018 -

The Association of European Producers of Steel for Packaging (APEAL) has recently released a new 79.5% recycling rate for steel for packaging in Europe. A significant 2 percentage points increase from the previous year and a figure to be proud of compared to the other packaging materials.

This impressive all-time high rate is based on data from 2016 and shows that steel recycling in Europe is increasing every day and every year, getting closer to the industry’s self-imposed target of 80% by 2020.


Steel definitely is and remains the most recycled packaging material in Europe. Accordingly to this new rate, one should therefore understand that almost 8 out of 10 packaging items made of steel in Europe have been collected and recycled. That is quite something!

What makes steel such a perfect material to recycle?

1.     Steel magnetic properties. Thanks to that, steel is the easiest material to recover from waste stream.

2.     Steel waste is easy and cost efficient to collect, hence no complex material separation process is needed.

3.     Steel eliminates waste as steel scrap is needed for the manufacture of new steel. As a result, almost 80% of all metal ever produced is still in use today.

4.     Steel recycling saves resources energy and emissions at every time. Recycling one tonne of scrap uses 70-95% less energy than making one tonne of metal from virgin raw material.

5.     Basically, steel is permanent. Its inherent properties do not change during use and its recycling does not require the addition of any primary material or additives.