The figures released this month by APEAL, the Association of European Producers of Steel for Packaging, indicate that in 2012, 2.7 million tonnes of steel packaging were recycled, corresponding to an average European rate of 74%. This reinforces the long term trend for steel as the most recycled packaging material in Europe.
Steel packaging’s recycling rate has increased threefold over the last 20 years and steel remains the most recycled packaging material in Europe. Plastic, beverage cartons, aluminum and glass have rates of 35%, 39%, 68% and 70% respectively.
Mr Alexander Mohr secretary general of APEAL said that “While steel maintains its position as the most recycled packaging material in Europe, it is clear there is still some work to be done in order for the industry to hit its vision of 80% recycling rate by 2020.”
According to the Steel Recycling Institute, for the US, the overall recycling rate for steel in 2012 was 88%, with nearly 84 million tonnes of steel recycled. This included the more than 1.3 million tonnes of tin plate steel the equivalent of 21 billion steel cans, which were recycled at a rate of 71%, the highest among packaging materials.
Mr Thomas J Gibson president and CEO, American Iron and steel Institute said that “The steel industry’s internationally recognized energy efficiency, coupled with the recycling rate that is the highest of any material, proves our commitment to sustainability and resource conservation.”
Steel products naturally contribute to resource conservation through their lightweight potential, durability and recyclability. Steel is 100% recyclable. It can be infinitely recycled without loss of key properties, ensuring that the resources invested in its production are not lost and can be infinitely reused.
Steel recycling accounts for significant raw material and energy savings. Due to its magnetic properties, steel is easy to separate from waste streams, enabling high recovery rates.
Recovery rates differ from recycling rates. For example, about 85% of automobiles are recovered for recycling, and nearly 100% of the steel in these recovered vehicles is recycled. More than 1,400 kilogram of iron ore, 740 kilogram of coal, and 120 kilogram of limestone are saved for one tonne of steel scrap made into new steel.
Source – www.yaang.com