Every second 15 tonnes of steel are recycled in the world. Steel is the easiest packaging material to recycle. One single magnetic sort is sufficient.
Steel packaging (as well as all products made of steel) contain recycled steel. Steel is 100% recyclable and can be recycled infintely, without losing its physical properties. The magnetic characteristic of steel eases its recovery among waste. This is one of the reasons for "steel to be the most recycled material in the world".
More than 5 million tonnes of steel cans were recovered and recycled worldwide, according to data supplied by the International Iron and Steel Institute (IISI).
The Chairman of the IISI Packaging Committee stated : “Steel for packaging justifies once more its positioning as sustainable material in the packaging industry. Steel packaging are not only sustainable, strong and convenient, but also respect the environment. Recycling has always been one of the steel industry's priorities."
Recycling steel protects the environment and saves energy "minimise our impact on the environment is our responsibility for the future generations". Steel volumes being recovered every year are not withoug effect on our environment, when we know that one tonne of sorted steel packaging means a saving of 1,42 tons of iron ore, 0,57 ton of coal, as well as 7 months of energy consumption of one person - without forgetting the reduction of CO2 emissions.
Over 72% of steel packaging were recycled in Europe in 2009.
Belgium and Germany have performed best with respectively a recycling rate of 98% and 93%. Poland has realized a noticeable increase from 28% to 48%, partially explained by ferromagnetic sorting methods introduced in sorting plants in 2009.
European metal industry commits to increase recycling to 80% by 2020.
2009 has once again seen strong recycling rates achieved for domestic packaging steel. Nearly 320kt of packaging were recycled, representing 65% of domestic steel packaging.
More than 223,000 tonnes of steel packaging waste were recovered and recycled in 2009, which puts the recycling rate for this type of material at 69%, according to data collected by Ecoembes and Ecoacero.