Metal such as steel and aluminium - is a waste component that can be recycled indefinitely without loosing any of their properties.
  • With a European Union* average consumption of about 11.2 kg per capita, the share of metal packaging amounts to 7 % of total packaging consumption. The predominant part of metal packaging ends up in household/municipal packaging waste. In 1997, the average recycling rate in the EU amounted to 46.0 %.

  • Metal makes up more than 7% of US waste - from dog food cans and the linings inside milk cartons to zips on clothing. The US recycles 34% of the steel in its waste stream, and 35% of all metals.
Steel and aluminium recycling safe large quantities of energy...
  • Recycling aluminium saves 95% of the energy used to make the material from scratch. That means you can make 20 cans out of recycled material with the same energy it takes to make 1 can out of new material.
  • If all the aluminium cans in the UK were recycled there would be 14 million fewer full dustbins each year.

  • 1 recycled aluminium can saves enough energy to operate a TV for 3 hours.

  • Every ton of steel packaging recycled makes the following environmental savings:
iron ore 1.5 tonnes
coal 0.5 tonnes
water required in production 40%
energy needed to make steel from virgin material 75%
solid waste 1.28 tonnes
reduction of air emissions by 86%
reduction of water pollution by 76%

*Data refer to EU15.