We proactively position and support the positive attributes and image of metal packaging through joint marketing, environmental and technical initiatives.
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Metal Packaging: A move towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals
Metal Packaging Europe has taken transformative steps towards a more sustainable and resilient path. Based on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development presented in 2015, the metal packaging industry has set out an ambitious vision to transform its sector. Find out more about how the metal packaging industry can contribute to the UN SDGs in the factsheet below and on our microsite.
Metal Packaging for Sustainability: the Benefits of the Can
Made from an infinitely recyclable material, the can is easily sorted, efficiently recycled, and has a high end-of-life economic value, which make it a great example of a sustainable packaging option that is well-suited for ‘real circularity’. When it comes to sustainable but also safe and versatile packaging, it’s therefore pretty hard to beat cans. Read on to find out why!
Towards 100% real recycling - An ambitious Recycling Roadmap for the Aluminium Beverage Can
The beverage can makers of Metal Packaging Europe and the aluminium can sheet suppliers and used beverage can recyclers, all members of European Aluminium, teamed up to define the future role of the aluminium beverage can within the European circular economy. They agreed on a detailed Roadmap to move towards a 100% can recycling target for Europe by 2030.
Circular Economy in a nutshell
The Circular Economy Package has introduced a fundamental shift in packaging and packaging waste policy, making circularity the reference point. The Circular Economy Package is crucial starting point for a successful transition to a circular economy, in which the value of products, materials, and resources is maintained in the economy for as long as possible. Find out what it implies and where metal packaging is placed in the below factsheet.
Economic Footprint: Consumer rigid metal packaging in Europe
Our membership covers more than 760 companies, employing over 177,000 people. 90% of member companies are small and medium-sized enterprises. Together, they produce some 98bn units every year for the beverage, food, health & beauty, household and industrial markets. Find out more about the metal packaging industry in Europe in the factsheet below.
Recycling metal packaging: report by Euractiv
New EU-wide recycling targets, adopted last year, will have a significant influence on the way people recycle things like beverage cans. Together with Metal Packaging Europe, EURACTIV looks at how difficult it will be to meet the new targets.
Concept of Permanent Materials
In order to move towards a true resource efficient 'Recycling Society', it is key that we make a clear distinction between recycling which leads to gradual degradation of the material and recycling which keeps the material in the loop without losing its intrinsic characteristics. Made from permanent materials, metal packaging saves resources and it ideally placed to contribute to the Circular Economy.
To learn about the two pillars of the Concept of Permanent Materials, i.e. inherent material properties and material stewardship, please see the Carbotech study. A summary and presentation are also available for download below.
Find out more about our sustainability story here.
LCA & LCI Dataset
The Metal Packaging Europe Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) studies identify the average environmental impacts of metal packaging manufactured in Europe throughout its life cycle. The reports showcase the industry’s contribution to sustainable development, which is perfectly aligned with circular economy thinking.
Two LCAs are available respectively for beverage cans and for non-beverage packaging: the former covers aluminium beverage cans (25, 33, 50 cl) based on 2016 production data, the latter covers aerosol, food, general line, and speciality sectors based on 2013 production data. For LCA modelling, the Life Cycle Inventories (LCIs) are available for the life cycle (cradle-to-gate + End-of-Life) and for the can-manufacturing phase.
The Metal Packaging Europe Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) studies are ISO 14040/44 compliant and were conducted by RDC Environment, an independent international environmental consultancy firm, and peer-reviewed by Solinnen, an environmental consultancy specialised in LCA practices.”
Aluminium beverage cans
Metal Packaging (excluding beverage cans)
Recycled content and the case for metal packaging
In the case of rigid metal packaging, only recycling will pay off: Recycling brings an environmental benefit no matter for which metal application the recycled material is subsequently used – the material loop is working. Whatever the next application or product (automotive, construction, packaging etc.), the environmental benefit occurs at the time of re-melting the collected metal packaging (when scrap substitutes primary material) and not at the point of re-shaping the secondary material.
Both, steel and aluminium, face a strong multi-market demand for scrap, which has always exceeded the supply of scrap. Given this market situation, a recycled content approach would divert the scrap flow from one stream to another, adding potential system costs and bringing no added environmental benefit.
Recycled content and metal packaging in the context of LCA modelling
In LCAs for metal packaging, the end of life recycling rate approach should be used as most adequate proxy. See further explanation in 'Recycled content and metal packaging in the context of LCA modelling'.