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.
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of metal packaging
With growing demand for sustainable production and consumption, MPE is fully committed to provide objective and reliable information about the environmental performance of rigid metal packaging. For this reason, MPE commissioned an in-depth Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) covering the life cycle of metal packaging produced in Europe, from raw material extraction through manufacturing and end-of-life. The study showcases the industry’s contribution to sustainable development and that metal packaging is a perfect fit for a Circular Economy.
Based on 2018 production data, the study covers the following packaging categories: aluminium beverage cans, aluminium and steel food cans, steel aerosol, steel general line, steel closures and steel speciality packaging. The main results of the LCA are provided in the Executive Summary, whereas more technical details are provided in the Methodological Report. For LCA modelling, the Life Cycle Inventories are also available.
The Metal Packaging Europe LCA was conducted by RDC Environment, an independent international environmental consultancy firm, and peer-reviewed according to the ISO 14040/44 standard by Solinnen, an environmental consultancy specialised in LCA practices.
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'.
Annual Activity Report June 2022
- Activity Report
Following a successful AGM in Brussels on the 9-10th June 2022, Metal Packaging Europe’s Annual Activity Report looks back at the work carried out by the Association of the European rigid metal packaging industry over the past year (June 2021-2022).
(Members only)View Report