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Steel, Aluminium & Glass Packaging Industries Jointly Support The Introduction Of EU-Wide Recycling Performance Grades

The Association of European Producers of Steel for Packaging (APEAL), European Aluminium, the European Container Glass Federation (FEVE) and Metal Packaging Europe, members of the Permanent Materials Coalition support the European Commission’s ambition to require that all packaging placed on the EU market shall be reusable or recyclable in an economically viable way in its proposal for a Packaging & Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR). We regret, however, that there will be a delay in fulfilling the objective of having all packaging effectively recyclable by 2030.

We are pleased to note that recycling performance grades are introduced for the first time. This is a step in the right direction. There is, however, a missed opportunity to differentiate between the qualities of secondary raw materials and to promote the use of materials that can be recycled multiple times without losing their intrinsic propertiessaid Leonie Knox-Peebles, CEO of Metal Packaging Europe.

Maarten Labberton, Director Packaging Group of European Aluminium, commented “We also welcome the continued focus given to Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and the proposed rule whereby EPR fees shall be modulated based on the recycling performance grades, also taking into account multiple recyclable vs. limited recyclable packaging. This is the main reason why most EPR systems generally apply lower EPR fees for our materials, also considering the positive scrap value of well-sorted aluminium, steel and glass”.

Aluminium, glass and steel are ‘Permanent materials’ that are easily collectable, sortable and ready for high-quality recycling. Our materials have proven to be an effective means of preventing waste. The use of such materials in packaging is the best way to ensure that resources remain in use in the economy and to reduce our need for virgin raw materials” added Adeline Farrelly, Secretary General of FEVE.

“Packaging should not only be recyclable. It should also have the ability to be effectively and efficiently separated from the waste stream, collected at Member State level, as well as sorted and actually recycled “at scale”. The Regulation should set more ambitious criteria to define what “at scale” means. These criteria should be fulfilled across the Member States to ensure that the overall ambition of the EU Circular Economy is reached” said Alexis Van Maercke, Secretary General of APEAL.

The European Union is demonstrating global leadership in the drive to move from a linear to a real circular economy. With respective recycling rates of 75.8%, 79% and 85.5%*, the aluminium, glass and steel sectors are top performers for recycling packaging materials and are well positioned to play a key role in this transition.

The Permanent Materials Coalition looks forward to engaging constructively with EU policymakers to ensure that the PPWR strengthens the EU Circular Economy, protects the environment, and guarantees that the resources used are kept in the economy for as long as possible.



*Recycling rate for respective aluminium beverage cans (2019), glass containers (2020) and all steel for packaging (2020) segments.

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About the Permanent Materials Coalition

The Permanent Materials Coalition is composed of APEAL, the Association of European Producers of Steel for Packaging, European Aluminium, the European Container Glass Federation (FEVE) and Metal Packaging Europe.

The aluminium, glass and steel sectors are top performers in recycling packaging materials with respective rates of 75.8%, 79% and 85.5%1. As permanent materials, aluminium, glass and steel can be recycled over and over again without losing their key intrinsic properties, thus maintaining circular material loops. A ‘permanent material’ is a material whose inherent properties do not change, regardless of the number of times it goes through a recycling process. It means that once it is produced for the first time and properly collected, sorted and processed at the end of its life, it becomes the raw material for new and endless production loops. Such materials are, and will remain, at the heart of any proven and well-functioning Circular Economy.


Contact details

  • European Aluminium - Maarten G. Labberton, Director Packaging Group, +32 494 51 58 58
  • FEVE - Adeline Farrelly, Secretary General and Vanessa Chesnot, Head of Public Affairs and Product Policy, +32 475 93 17 24;, +32 475 79 12 33
  • Metal Packaging Europe - Leonie Knox-Peebles CEO and Sarah Cuvellier, Senior Manager European Affairs, +32 2 897 04 90;, +32 2 897 04 91
  • APEAL - Alexis Van Maercke, Secretary General and Steve Claus, Sustainability & Circular Economy Officer, +32 477 81 75 14;, +32 496 54 14 11

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