The 11th International Tinplate Conference took place on October 5 and 6. It happens every four years and this year it was 40 years since the first conference was held in London.
The two-day conference offers a platform to delegates from across the packaging supply chain, to discuss the key commercial and technical tinplate developments and provide opportunities to network with the global industry.
APEAL, founded in 1986, is the federation of the 4 major producers of steel for packaging in Europe: ArcelorMittal, Tata Steel, ThyssenKrupp and U.S. Steel Kosice. Steel for packaging is used in a wide variety of applications, including cans for food and pet food, packaging for chemical products, aerosols cans, beverage cans and closures.
The European Union has presented the Circular Economy package with a number of relatively ambitious measures aiming to cut resource use, eliminate waste and increase recycling. APEAL demonstrates why steel is model material to meet those objectives.
1/ Cut resource use: steel’s closed material loop means all resources can be reused, as examples:
2/ Eliminate waste: Steel packaging contributes to the circular economy objective of eliminating waste as it is easy and economical recover from any waste stream; using simply a magnet. Steel has this great inherent advantage over all other materials, its magnetic properties. Well-established and highly-efficient collection and sorting systems are in place in Europe.
3/ Increase recycling: Steel is already the most recycled packaging material in Europe. 76% of steel packaging was recycled in 2014, equivalent to 2.7 million tonnes of steel.
Steel being a permanent material means that it can be recycled forever with no loss of quality. The permanent material is a new concept, a true paradigm shift when it comes to classification of materials, a fresh way of looking at sustainability.