Steel packaging recycling exceeds European target for 2030

Italy confirms its excellence at European level in the separate collection of steel packaging, with a recycling rate that far exceeds the 2025 target (70%) and even the 80% set by the European Union for 2030. In 2022, 418,091 tonnes of steel packaging will be recycled, representing 80.6% of the amount released for consumption. The data was published by Ricrea, the National Consortium for the Recovery and Recycling of Steel Packaging, one of the 7 supply chain consortia of the Conai system, during its annual meeting held in Catania on 19 May.

Italian citizens have shown increasing commitment to the separate collection of steel packaging such as cans and tins, aerosols, crown caps, capsules, fancy boxes, milk, drums and barrels. Last year, the average amount of steel packaging collected per capita was 4.4 kg. A total of 490,223 tonnes of steel packaging was collected from public and private sources (+6% compared to 2021). This result was also made possible thanks to the Anci-Conai Framework Agreement, which, by activating agreements, promotes the growth of separate waste collection and starts the virtuous circle of recycling. Today, 446 agreements are active, covering a total of 6,089 municipalities and 51,033,932 people. In 2022, 86% of the Italian population will be covered by agreements, an increase of 1.5% compared to 2021.

Domenico Rinaldini, President of Ricrea, said:

We are very proud of the results achieved: last year we reached almost 81% of steel packaging sent for recycling, already exceeding the European targets set for 2030. These results have been made possible by the many communication initiatives at national and territorial level and by the synergetic and proven work of all the actors in the chain. The virtuous circle of steel packaging begins in the homes of Italians and ends in the steelworks, where it is melted down to be given a new life, 100% recycled and endlessly reused. The rebirth of steel in the form of new products is a perfect example of circular economy and convenience, both economically and environmentally.

Steel is the most recycled material in Europe: it is easy to sort and can be recycled endlessly without losing its intrinsic qualities. Thanks to the 418,091 tonnes of steel packaging that will be recycled in Italy in 2022, enough to build a railway line linking Rome to Istanbul, 6,750 TJ of primary energy will have been saved and the use of 398,000 tonnes of virgin raw materials and the dispersal of 548,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent will have been avoided (Ricrea data based on LCC Conai processing).