100% OF STEEL PACKAGING COLLECTED IS RECYCLED INTO NEW STEEL PRODUCTS – A BRIDGE, TRAIN OR EVEN A NEW CAN.
Depending on the waste management strategy of the EU member state, it will follow different treatment routes.
Recycling steel reduces emissions and helps to save energy and natural resources such as iron ore, coal, and limestone.
However, as all steel packaging returned to the steel works is effectively recycled and integrated in the production process of new steel, the APEAL recycling rate measures ‘real recycling’.
Today, steel is the best placed of all primary packaging materials to reach the targets proposed by the revision of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive in the context of the Circular Economy Package.
Since steel has unique magnetic properties that make it the easiest and most economical packaging material to sort, recover, and recycle, it would be counterproductive to send this valuable commodity to landfill.
As such, the steel packaging industry has adopted the flagship objective of zero steel for packaging to landfill by 2020.
Depending on the waste management strategy of the EU Member State in which steel for packaging becomes waste, it will follow different treatment routes.
Steel for packaging can be sorted at source, separately collected, co-mingled with other dry recyclables and sent for sorting to a Material Recovery Facility. After that, a steel scrap bundle will be sent for final recycling to the steel making plant.
Where separate collection of dry recyclables is not fully implemented, steel packaging is discarded with the residual waste stream and perhaps sent to a waste-to-energy plant. Thanks to steel’s magnetic properties, steel can be extracted from the bottom ash residue to be integrated in the steel making process again.
Steel packaging also arises from Mechanical-Biological Treatment plants where these are integrated in the waste management setting. Each of these treatment routes enables the secondary raw material to be integrated in the production process of new steel.