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Issue #12, December 2015

Editorial

Sustainability has always been very top of mind for APEAL, but particularly recently during the run-up to the long awaited Circular Economy Package (CEP), finally announced by the European Commission.

In “Inside Brussels” Alexander Mohr, Secretary General of APEAL, contemplates the consequences of the CEP’s higher EU recycling targets.

You can also read how steel continues towards its own, more ambitious target of 80% recycling by 2020, rallying understanding of the benefits of a closed material loop at a recent event in Poland.

We conclude with a quick walk on the bright side of steel packaging – with a look at some of the brilliant can designs on show at The Canmaker’s annual award ceremony.

Special thanks to all who have contributed to our reaching 700 followers (and counting...) on Twitter!

Happy holidays to all, roll on 2016.

Patricia Mobbs, Editor

Inside Brussels - Alexander Mohr on steel for packaging in European policy discussions
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It’s been a long wait but it’s finally here.

Last 2nd December the European Commission (EC) announced details on the new Circular Economy Package. It is a breakthrough moment, not only for steel packaging but, more importantly, for Europe’s economic and environmental future.

The package will bring with it new, higher material recycling targets - 75% for steel in 2025 and 85% in 2030 - which will apply throughout Europe, forcing governments across the continent to increase their focus on the way products are manufactured, used and recycled. It will also increase awareness and understanding of the benefits of permanent materials like steel within those processes, particularly with the new specific targets for each type of metal.

Expect to see pressure brought to bear on companies producing packaging from materials that are not permanent and prove difficult to recycle. They will likely now be subject to increased scrutiny and national governments may even look to incentivise the use of permanent materials. This measure alone - just one of the announcements within the EC package - creates a real drive towards sustainability.

It’s also a success for APEAL. In the past few years we have worked hard to increase recognition for the inherent benefits of steel and the need for a greater emphasis on permanent materials within manufacturing to preserve the world’s natural resources. This is now paying dividends but we will not stop here.

While we are a little disappointed not to see an outright landfill ban we recognise that a progressive phasing out is a step forward and we will work nevertheless towards our own stated industry objective of zero steel packaging to landfill by 2020.

The campaign to champion positive environmental manufacturing solutions and the circular economy is just beginning. To ensure it is delivered and becomes the norm is a far greater challenge.

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“Our vision is a closed steel loop”

Dr Ulrich Roeske, President of APEAL

Take a walk on the bright side, with some of 2015’s most shining examples of steel cans

Yes, packaging can be strong, striking and sustainable. This was the clear message at The Canmaker's Cans of the Year awards last October, where some brilliant packaging designs captured the hearts of the industry-expert judging panel.

Just some of the winners:

2015 Can of the Year & Gold winner of Fancy Cans
Limited edition steel container with embossed and curved lid in the shape of a golf-club

Gold winner for Beverage 3-Piece
Distinctive shaping and decoration combined with the high quality of steel

Gold winner for Food 2-piece
Steel can by Ardagh Group that extends shelf life for tomato-based products

Gold winner for General line
The holographic effects on this 18-litre steel can for industrial adhesive, demonstrates that protective can also be attractive!

More winning examples were on show in the “Decoration & Print Quality”, “Food 3-Piece” and “Prototype” categories. Read more here at The Canmaker.

APEAL's latest LCI dataset shows 12% drop in CO2 emissions from tinplate production since 2006

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Steel for Packaging: Protecting Today, Preserving tomorrow

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Closing the loop in Poland

Poland has a great tradition of steel making, and it is currently one of the fastest growing markets for packaging in Europe. It was in this light that representatives of the steel industry, customers and recycling stakeholders came together last October for a conference aimed at highlighting the role that steel packaging can play in the transition to a circular economy in Central Europe.

Opening the event, APEAL President Dr Ulrich Roeske said: “The Steel for Packaging industry is proactively supporting the concept of an efficient circular economy. Our vision is a closed steel loop”.

Karl Buttiens, General Manager for Environment and Global CO2 at ArcelorMittal, welcomed participants, underlining how steel is a Fabric of Life due to its undisputed strength and circular economy compliance. He stressed the need to teach respect for materials, define recycling properly and avoid landfill.

Jakub Tyczkowski, president of the board of Polish recycling organisation Rekopol, outlined recent changes to the European Packaging Regulations (EPR) for the Polish market. He said: “Potentially higher EU targets will be a challenge for Poland. The current EPR system is not yet adapted for this and the industry needs to take a proactive position and lead the way.”

Christian Korn, representing U. S. Steel Košice, highlighted the growing demand for steel packaging in Central Europe. He showed how demand is driven by steel’s excellent product protection and preservation properties avoiding food waste, as well as by convenience of use and consumption and a wide offering of pack sizes.

Steel packaging’s market-leading European average recycling rate of 75% was highlighted by Tony Waite from TataSteel Europe who also confirmed the steel for packaging industry’s objective of achieving a recycling rate of 80% by 2020. He commented that Central Europe had a key role to play in helping achieve this target and realise a true circular economy.

Stéphane Tondo of ArcelorMittal demonstrated how steel packaging is a green solution for Central Europe and complies with the EU’s Circular Economy requirements for product design, sourcing and waste efficiency. He added that steel, as a permanent material, recycles forever.

Mazovia region Marshall Adam Struzik recognised the efforts made by the steel for packaging industry in Europe and described his expectation that the conference will “help to develop a common position concerning the ambitious targets set by the circular economy package in the European Union, and also demonstrate that legal changes are necessary in Polish legislation so that the system is actually closed-loop.”

Indeed, delegates experienced the closed-loop recycling of steel first-hand during a tour of the ArcelorMittal Warszawa manufacturing plant. The visit also clearly demonstrated how all steel plants are effectively recycling plants because steel scrap is an integral part of the manufacturing process, just one of the reasons behind the great sustainability story of steel.

Secretary General Alexander Mohr concluded: “Steel for packaging is a great example of a material ideal for the circular economy. Steel is a win, win, win for customers, the economy and the environment.”

View event photo gallery here

 

APEAL in the media

Euractiv - September
Alexander Mohr talks to Euractiv Slovakia about high recycling targets and the revised Circular Economy Package (English & Slovak)
www.euractiv.sk/...acne-ciele-musia-byt-ambiciozne-024248 (Slovak)

 

Cantech - October
Alexander Mohr discusses the demands for a new Circular Economy Package and the status of steel for packaging as the ideal material in a circular economy (English)
Download PDF file.

 

Opakowanie - November
Tomasz Krawczak reports on the “Green Solutions for Central Europe” conference hosted by APEAL in Warsaw (Polish)

 

E-Sharp - December
Alexander Mohr contributes his opinion on steel packaging and the circular economy (English)

 

From Twitter

 

Packaging Europe @PackagingEurope - Nov 23
APEAL Delivers Full Transparency on Tinplate Packaging Sustainability #Environment #Metal pack-euro.co/News/65827

 

ArcelorMittal @ArcelorMittal - Nov 11
Steel products can be infinitely recycled and productively re-used - makes them ideal components of a #CircularEconomy #Steel4Sustainability

 

APEAL @APEAL_EU - Oct 16
It's World Food Day #WFD2015 With food security vital, steel is the ultimate packaging material to protect it. See apeal.org/protection/

 

EurActiv @EurActiv - Sept 23
Steel for the packaging industry: A more ambitious Circular Economy Package is needed ow.ly/34wZR3

@APEAL_EU
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