Metals are natural elements that maintain their physical properties forever. Once metal enters the material-to-material loop, in which it is recycled again and again, it will always be available for future generations. This means metal is a permanent material.
A permanent material is a material whose inherent properties do not change during use and despite repeated recycling into new products. Its recycling does not necessarily require the addition of primary material or additives to enable the basic material function and properties.
- Carbotech -
When metal products reach the end of their useful life, the materials are simply collected and recycled, again and again, with no loss of their inherent properties. This is known as real recycling. The metal packaging industry and its recycling stakeholders are committed to a real recycling society.
Around 75% of all aluminium ever produced in the world is still in use today.
Today, 76.1% of aluminium beverage cans are recycled in Europe, making it the most recycled beverage packaging.
76% of all aluminium cans are recycled in the UK.
Global resources are limited, yet society’s demands are increasing. Managing resources efficiently is therefore a top priority for our industry. Metal, as a highly recycled permanent material, saves raw materials, energy consumption and CO2 emissions.
The metal packaging industry has made constant progress in reducing CO2 emissions. Improvements are measured since 2000 through an environmental scorecard.
The Scorecard is available to Metal Packaging Europe members and allows for personalised calculations of their products’ CO₂-footrprint based on three individual parameters: can weight, recycling rate and transport distances.
The metal packaging industry is the perfect example of a circular economy, with metal recycling forever in a material-to-material loop. When a metal product reaches the end of its useful life, the material is never lost. Through recycling, its value is retained forever, making it available today and for future generations.
Permanent material loop
Non-permanent material spiral to end of life
As consumers are becoming increasingly concerned about the impact of packaging on the environment, we support the adoption of the Recycles Mark. The logo – for use on- and off-pack – is part of a behaviour change campaign to help consumers better understand the key role they have to play in keeping metal in the material loop by recycling their empty packaging.
If your brand or organisation would like to participate in the campaign and obtain a license, please go to www.metalpackagineurope.org/recyclesmark.