EU steel packaging surpasses 2025 recycling target

Steel packaging in the EU has met the bloc’s new recycling rate target for 2025 already, the Association of European Producers of Steel for Packaging (Apeal) revealed this week.

This follows the introduction of a harmonised method for calculating packaging recycling rates within the EU. The new methodology focuses on the amount of material actually recycled at the entrance of recycling operations, rather than just its collection.

Previously, EU member states utilised varying methods to determine their recycling rates for different materials, which led to inflated rates and masked the recycling challenges associated with multi-material packaging formats, the association observes.

While several EU member states have adopted the new EU calculation methodology, eight are still adhering to the previous regulations.

The new figures reveal that 78.5% of steel packaging was “really recycled” in 2021. This means that the EU steel recycling rate target of 70% by 2025 has already been reached.

“Steel’s magnetic properties make it easily recoverable from any waste stream, and its permanent quality ensures it can be recycled repeatedly without any loss in material quality,” Apeal secretary general Steve Claus says in a note seen by Kallanish. “These attributes have allowed steel to remain the most widely recycled primary packaging material in Europe for another year running and demonstrate why steel is so well aligned with the EU’s vision for a circular economy.”

Adam Smith Poland