It’s the rates that matter

Metal is infinitely recyclable. That’s not under dispute, it’s a fact. But how many times have you heard this phrase bandied about, be it in marketing literature for a promotional campaign or elsewhere?

It seems that, too often, we hear of the recyclability of metal in our industry as opposed to what really matters – the ACTUAL recycling rate.

If everyone in the world took the time to recycle their metal packaging then it would be a marvellous thing. Recyclability would be a reasonable thing to refer to, as all the metal used in the manufacture of packaging would re-enter the supply chain. But, as it happens, this is not the case and although as an industry we have a fantastic record when it comes to recycling, the fact remains that there is still room for improvement.

How many of you have a compost heap? Take an orange peel for example. If you put your orange peel onto a compost heap, in due course it would break down and eventually become part of a useful substance that would help you to grow something else. But unless you put that peel onto the heap it will simply be wasted and sent to landfill.

Just because it is recyclable, doesn’t mean it will be recycled.

The above was one of the messages that emerged from our recent conference in Barcelona. Both Ulrich Roeske of Apeal and John Revess of Rexam referred to this point – and it is true. Recyclability means nothing without action and we must stand together and continue to promote the benefits of the physical, not merely the possible.

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