Metal Packaging Europe has reported that the 2011 recycling rate for rigid metal consumer packaging (European average, EU 27+EFTA) increased by 2.8 percentage points to a new record of 73.0%. This makes rigid metal consumer packaging the most recycled packaging in Europe.
The increase of 2.8 percentage points reflects a long-term trend over the past 20 years, during which the metal packaging sector has been able to improve its recycling results, meeting the minimum European and national metal recycling rates regularly ahead of the official deadlines.
The extra recycled tonnage of 188kt of steel packaging and aluminium beverage cans in 2011 equals an increase of 7% over 2010, resulting in a total of nearly 2.9 million tonnes of metal being recycled back into packaging or into other useful products such as building parts or automotive parts.
Although Metal Packaging Europe is confident that the sector will be able to meet its voluntary European average recycling target of 80% by the year 2020, there is a strong need for more collection and better sorting of packaging waste. In addition, Metal Packaging Europe urges the European authorities to further improve and harmonise its packaging waste statistics to measure material actually recycled rather than the current method of 'collection for recycling'.