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Metal Recycles Forever™ microsite launched; promotes trademarked logo, 75% recycling rate for metal packaging

Aluminium beverage cans show 31% average reduction in carbon footprint over 2006-2016.

Metal Packaging Europe - the European association representing metal packaging - today launched a dedicated microsite to further promote its Metal Recycles Forever logo, helping consumers and brands better understand the key role they have to play in keeping metal in the material loop by recycling their empty packaging and communicating the benefits thereof.

Today,75% of metal packaging is recycled in Europe, making metal packaging among the most recycled forms of packaging. High recycling rates lower overall energy consumption: using secondary raw material means an energy savings compared to virgin material use. MPE and its members are committed to an average European metal packaging recycling rate of 80% by 2020.

Consumer engagement and responsible behaviour are arguably top of the agenda for brand owners. Consumers and policy makers look to brand owners and retailers to be more resource efficient and help consumers to understand the value of recycling. The Metal Recycles Forever™ logo provides that higher level of understanding and engagement.

With 80% of EU citizens increasingly buying environmentally friendly products, it has never been more important to engage and accurately inform consumers. The Metal Recycles Forever™ logo places consumers at the heart of the European circular economy, which is critical given consumers see recyclability as the leading proof point of environmentally-friendly packaging*.

Metal Recycles Forever™ equally prompts consumers to sort and recycle their metal packaging in order to make the material available for the next metal product, reducing the need to use primary material in an increasingly resource and energy constrained world.

Higher recycling rates were a key enabling factor for the impressive 31% reduction in carbon footprint over the 2006-2016 period, as highlighted in a new Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) (executive summary) of aluminium beverage cans (25cl, 33cl and 50cl volumes) in Europe. This confirms the industry’s commitment to reduce carbon emissions and to decouple production growth from its environmental footprint.

Aluminium is a permanent material that can be recycled again and again, without losing its material characteristics, and its scrap value is the highest of all packaging materials, making aluminium beverage cans a perfect fit for the Circular Economy.

Using the latest data available (2016), the study covers the life cycle of aluminium beverage cans produced in Europe, from raw materials extraction to manufacturing, transport to fillers and end-of-life. When compared to 2006 data, the study records significant reductions in CO2-equivalent emissions. The main factors which have made this progress possible are:

  • improvements in aluminium production and can manufacturing processes;
  • reduction in can weight;
  • increase in aluminium beverage can recycling rate

The recycling of aluminium remains the key factor for further improvements in terms of Climate Change impact: every 5% increase in the recycling of aluminium beverage can yields an average 6% reduction in the Climate Change impact.

“It is part of Metal Packaging Europe’s commitment to provide fact-based and unambiguous information on our industry to both our customers and consumers,” said Leonie Knox-Peebles, CEO of Metal Packaging Europe. “Our Metal Recycles Forever™ logo makes a clear statement that metal can be recycled forever without losing in quality, a message reinforced by it ranking top with consumers for cut-through clarity**.”

“Supporting this statement is the truly impressive progress made in reducing the carbon footprint of aluminium beverage cans over a decade,” added Knox-Peebles, “and we’re confident that even more significant reductions will be achieved thanks to improved recycling rates across Europe.”

In October, MPE and European Aluminium reported that the overall recycling rate for aluminium beverage cans in the European Union, Switzerland, Norway and Iceland rose 2.3% from 2016 to 2017, to reach an all-time record of 74.5% in 2017. Almost 31 billion cans were recycled in the EU and EFTA countries in 2017, representing over 420,000 tonnes of aluminium and underscoring its contribution to the European circular economy. All aluminium cans are equally recyclable, no matter the colour, design, format or size.

Metal Recycles Forever microsite:

For further information, including the methodological report/LCI:

Note to Editors:

The following Metal Packaging Europe members submitted data for the 2016 Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of aluminium beverage cans in Europe: Ardagh Group, CROWN Packaging Europe, Ball Beverage Packaging Europe. European Aluminium provided the latest data sets for aluminium sheet production. Participating companies cover up to 87% of the relevant European markets. The study, conducted by RDC Environment and reviewed by Solinnen, is fully compliant with ISO 14040/14044 standards.

Metal Packaging Europe is the European association representing the metal packaging industry. Made from steel or aluminium, metal packaging comes in a wide range of sizes: from small cans, through aerosols and tins all the way to steel drums for bulk transport. MPE’s membership consists of over 760 companies, employing over 180,000 people; and 90% of member companies are small and medium-sized enterprises.


*CITEO 2018 study amongst 2,700 France consumers

**The Can Makers 2019 U.K. consumer survey

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