Tinplate recycling: all-time record broken again

(PresseBox) (Andernach, ) In 2011, the rate in Germany at which used packaging steel was recycled into new steel reached 93.9 percent. This was the figure quoted by the Gesellschaft für Verpackungsmarktforschung (Society for Packaging Research) in its latest recycling review for packaging in reporting year 2011.

It exceeds the previous top rate, which was achieved in 2008, by a further 0.3 percentage points. The values relate to a total consumption quantity of 479,800 tons of tinplate which had been used in Germany as food cans, aerosol spray cans, containers for chemical products, drinks cans, crown caps and closures for glass containers, as well as for industrial sector uses. This compares with a figure of 450,400 tons of tinplate which have been returned to steel producers as a valuable secondary raw material.

The biggest share of steel packaging consumption is by private consumers, which alone accounts for 401,900 tons. The quantity of material that originates from these uses, is picked up by established collection systems and fed back for recycling amounts to 388,300 tons. This equates to 96.6 percent - an even greater proportion than for the entire quantity of recycled tinplate and another all-time record rate.

This makes tinplate the most efficiently managed packaging material of all.

"Virtually nothing is lost from tinplate packaging after use," confirms Dr. Ulrich Roeske, Chairman of ThyssenKrupp Rasselstein, Germany's sole tinplate producer. "The material is practically all recycling content that - in contrast to many other packaging materials - can be recycled into new steel products as often as you like without any loss in quality. But packaging steel is not top of the recycling league by quantity alone: it is also unrivaled as a 'permanent material' in that it is restored completely to its original quality."

This virtual complete closing of the recycling loop achieved in Germany also comes out top compared to elsewhere in Europe. Like Belgium, Germany makes an above-average contribution to the overall European recycling rate of 72 percent*. "This excellent recycling performance rests not least on the fact that ThyssenKrupp Rasselstein provides for the return of packaging collected from private consumers to steel production and is the only German manufacturer of packaging steel with its own collection operation, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Weißblech Recycling mbH (DWR)," explains Roeske. The collection of industry-generated steel packaging is covered by the not-for-profit company Kreislaufsystem Blechverpackungen Stahl GmbH (KBS), which is likewise supported by ThyssenKrupp Rasselstein and ensures that the material is fully returned to production as a secondary raw material.

* based on 2010 - source: APEAL (www.apeal.org)

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thyssenkrupp Rasselstein GmbH
Koblenzer Straße 141
D-56626 Andernach
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