Message at the Scanpack Summit: this is how the waste of steel must be stopped

Steel packaging must be recycled, not thrown away. That is the vision of steel packaging producers in Europe, which was presented at the Scanpack Summit in Gothenburg. – Steel is far too valuable a material to be wasted, says Alexis Van Maercke at the European association APEAL.


The decision was communicated at the strategy conference Scanpack Summit, which is part of the packaging fair Scanpack.


Alexis Van Maercke, Secretary General of the Association of European Producers of steel for packaging, was one of the speakers. The branch organization works to ensure awareness of steel packaging as an example of circular economy thinking.


– 85,5% of steel packaging is currently recycled in Europe but our ambition is to fully close the loop. To get there, APEAL has outlined a vision that zero steel packaging be sent to landfill by 2025.


He emphasizes that the value of the material is far too high to be wasted and believes that APEAL’s position is completely in line with EU legislation, which calls for all packaging on the EU market to be reusable or recyclable in an economically viable way by 2030.


– Our vision is that decision-makers and other stakeholders throughout the European value chain work together to increase understanding of the value of multiple recycling, separate collection of steel packaging and eliminate landfill.


Alexis Van Maercke gave conference attendees at the Scanpack Summit six concrete recommendations, taken from APEAL’s latest report, to reach the ultimate goal: a closed loop for steel packaging recycling:


In addition to phasing out landfill, they focus on optimizing the collection of steel packaging, introducing quality requirements at each stage of collection, better pre-treatment before incineration, magnetic separators that capture small steel objects such as lids and closures. And: involve the consumers!


The latter is a prerequisite for increasing recycling in all countries, emphasizes Alexis van Maercke.


– Information campaigns for consumers should, for example, encourage not to place packages inside each other, for increased quality in sorting. All instructions for sorting should be simple and easy to understand, it should be easy to do correctly.