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Mark encourages recycling of metal packaging

A new recycling mark to engage consumers and highlight their role in the continuous lifecycle of metal has been developed by Metal Packaging Europe (MPE), the industry organisation representing rigid metal and metal packaging producers.

Metal is one of the most recycled materials in the world and has a well-established reprocessing infrastructure across Europe. However, from research conducted by MPE it is evident that some consumers do not understand the real value of recycling or do not always have a clear understanding of what happens with the collected metal fraction.

Metal Packaging Europe has, therefore, developed the new mark for use both on and off pack to help consumers better understand their role in keeping metal in a ‘forever loop’ by recycling their empty packaging. Research carried out across UK, France and Spain showed that both ‘keen recyclers’ and ‘reluctant recyclers’ agreed the message ‘METAL recycles forever’ together with the symbol of a forever loop provides new and clearer information.  This clarity subsequently prompted a positive re-evaluation of their recycling habits.

“European consumers purchase more than 85 billion products per year in rigid metal packaging so finding a solution to encourage these items to be recycled is of great importance. I am delighted that our industry has jointly identified a message that really makes a difference to consumer attitudes and behaviours; reassuring ‘keen recyclers’ and inspiring ‘reluctant recyclers’. Steel and aluminium have endless possibilities and as long as we collect and recycle, these metals remain permanently available for future generations” says Anders Linde, general secretary of MPE.

This project is a collaboration between the aluminium and steel industries and across all rigid metal packaging, including beverage and food cans, paint cans, aerosols, speciality metal tins and metal closures. European Metal Packaging (EMPAC) and Beverage Can Makers Europe (BCME) members will share the research with their customers over the coming months and it is anticipated this mark will become the clearest way for brands to support improving consumer recycling habits.

17 November 2014 - Felicity Murray The Drinks Report, editor