Steel shows its mettle in recycling

The Association of European Producers of Steel for Packaging (APEAL) has published figures showing another increase in the rate of recycling for steel packaging recycling.

Its results show an increase of 1.3% in 2003, to bring the total amount to just over 2.1 million tonnes, and a global European recycling rate of 61%. It forecasts further recycling growth both in the EU 15 and the new Member States.

APEAL predict a steel packaging recycling rate of 70% by 2008, with an annual average growth of 3.4%. These figures are based on two main factors. First, APEAL believes the progressive adoption of the Landfill Directive into national law will lead to a ban on landfilling unprocessed waste, thus accelerating the implementation of household waste sorting and recovery infrastructure in Europe. As a result, recycling will increase and so will the installed Municipal Solid Waste incineration capacity, where steel is magnetically sorted before or after incineration and recycled at the steel mills.

Secondly, the new 50% joint recycling target of the Packaging Directive for steel and aluminium packaging which will have to be reached in 2008 by a majority of the EU 15, should further boost the extension of separate collection schemes in the EU.

The collection and recycling of packaging in most of the 10 new Member States is still in its infancy, but APEAL is confident that it will soon come to rival that of Western Europe, where the rate of collection and recycling of industrial packaging in steel is mostly above 80%.

By David Hopkins

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie