Steel, 3 out of 4 containers were recycled in 2015

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Ricrea data: 350 thousand tons were reclaimed and helped avoid the import and extraction of coal and iron.

Almost 350 thousand tons of steel, enough to realize four copies of San Francisco’s Golden Gate bridge: this is the amount of the cans, food containers, spray cans, industrial tanks, bottle caps and boxes that were collected and recycled in Italy in 2015.

The data comes from Ricrea, the non-profit national consortium of the Conai system in charge of the collection and recycling of steel packaging. In 2015 Italy recycled 73.4% of the steel containers put on the market. The production of this kind of containers has increased by 2.3% compared to 2014. This means that 3 out of 4 cans were recycled and put to new use.

Ricrea’s president Maurizio Amadei, who just finished his second mandate, commented: “Last year’s results are extremely positive and confirm the validity of the efforts we’ve made all these years to ease and promote waste steel collection: collection is indispensable to recycle steel packaging. One of our main activities is supporting municipalities to diffuse a correct environmental education at the local level”.

Ricrea, in fact, is very active in the promotion of steel waste sorting and stipulated several conventions with Italian municipalities basing on the Anci-Conai agreement: as per the agreement, the consortium supports Italian municipalities by covering the biggest part of the costs deriving from packaging waste sorting.

Amadei adds: “In 2014 the main agreement and its technical attachments were fully renovated, while in 2015 renovations concerned the individual conventions and mandates granted to private managers or third parties. The consortium increased its efforts both in its economic contribution and in its communication campaigns, with the aim of improving collection results, especially in Central and Southern Italy. Two of our biggest challenges come from Catania and Bari, which are introducing a new waste sorting model. We will keep working in this direction in the coming years”.

Thanks to Ricrea’s efforts in covering local needs with its conventions, in 2015 the consortium covered over 48.8 million people, the equivalent of 82% of the Italian population, with an increase by 1% compared to the previous year.

Based on the figures declared by the producing and using companies, the amount of steel packaging put on the market in 2015 according to Conai’s data is 473,840 tons, an increase by 2.3% compared to 2014. This data further confirms the positive trend reversal in the waste collection of the past two years. Moreover, in 2015 the Conai Environmental Contribution was reduced: the fee for steel packaging went from 26 to 13 €/ton, a positive signal for producing and using companies, especially in times of economic crisis.

“Steel is the most recycled material in Europe: it’s quite easy to sort and it can be recycled an indefinite amount of times without losing its properties – concludes Amadei – Thanks to magnetic separation, steel packaging can be identified even among unsorted waste: together with municipalities we are working to increase the recycling rate of unsorted waste too, so as to avoid wasting potential resources. All the steel reclaimed from waste packaging can be put to new use: it can be transformed into, for example, rails, wrenches, bike frames, nails, bolts”.

Thanks to the 347,687 tons of steel recovered from packaging, Italy in 2015 saved 660,605 tons of ferrous mineral and 208,612 tons of coal, in addition to 622,359 tons of CO2.

For more information, visit Ricrea

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