Gesellschaft für Verpackungsmarktforschung (GVM) in its recently published annual recycling report states that 90.4% of tinplate packaging used in Germany was recycled in 2018. The recycling rate from private end use sources was as high as 92.2%, making tinplate the most recycled packaging material in this area once again.
“The high recycling rate of tinplate sends a strong message to the filling industry, trade and consumers: If you are looking for sustainable packaging material in a closed, effective material cycle, tinplate is the right choice,” says Dr. Peter Biele, CEO of thyssenkrupp Rasselstein GmbH. Tinplate has another important advantage over many other packaging materials: it is almost 100% recyclable–practically infinitely and without any loss of quality: “This is because packaging steel is made from natural raw materials such as iron ore, coking coal and limestone as well as part scrap steel. The characteristic properties of this metal allow steel to be melted down again and again and processed into a new steel product with resources that occur in nature,” explains Biele.
In addition to conserving primary resources, multi-recycling a material, which is common practice for tinplate, also has the advantage of lessening the environmental impact as a result of the many successive utilization and recycling cycles. “It’s quite simple really: if today’s consumers separate their waste correctly and put their cans into the recycling, tomorrow these cans might become part of a bike and the day after tomorrow a car part. Tinplate that was produced decades ago is still in today’s new steel products,” explains Biele.
thyssenkrupp Rasselstein GmbH reports that it is helping to effectively close the material cycle by ensuring packaging steel is recycled in Germany using its own recycling systems: DWR (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Weißblechrecycling mbH) for the private sector and Kreislaufsystem Blechverpackungen Stahl GmbH for the commercial/industrial sector.
This story was originally published on ITA’s Tinplate Group website.