EU recycling of steel packaging exceeds 50%

Headline recycle rate moves sharply upwards in 1997, helped by UK statistical changes

Over half of steel packaging consumed in eight EU countries was recycled for the first time in 1997, according to a new survey. The Association of European Producers of Steel for Packaging (Apeal) reports that 1.27m tonnes of steel packaging was recycled in 1997, equivalent to 52% of consumption and up from 45% in 1996. The recycling rate increased in all seven countries for which comparable 1996 figures are available, with particularly strong growth in Austria, Sweden and the UK (see table). According to the association, recycling rates are also set to rise fast in Luxembourg and Portugal, neither of which are currently included in the statistics. Though the aggregate statistics show a seven percentage point rise in the recycling rate, over half the tonnage increase is accounted for by the UK, and most of this is due to a change in statistical methods rather than a real increase. Steel bale wire and strapping were included in the UK statistics for the first time in 1997.
Recycling of steel packaging (%)
                1996      1997
Spain            19        31
UK               16        31
France           44        46
Belgium           -        59
Netherlands      60        67
Sweden           54        70
Austria          47        75
Germany          81        84
EU-8 TOTAL       45        52

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