In Germany the tin plate recycling ratio stands at over 90%. © R by La-Liana / pixelio.de

In Germany the tin plate recycling ratio stands at over 90%. © R by La-Liana / pixelio.de

Recycling champion tin plate

High measured reusability

High-value recycling possibility

In 2014 precisely 93.3% of all tinplate packaging units consumed in Germany were recycled after use. These findings are the result of a recent study by the society for packaging market research “Gesellschaft für Verpackungsmarktforschung”. With reference to private use only this percentage was even as high as 95.9%.

For five years already the recycling percentage of tin plate has exceeded 90 percentage points. In any case, this recyclate has always ranked first in terms of reusability of packaging materials. Steel packaging is the only material that can be reused any number of times without any impairment of the substance quality.

Combating loss and waste

The German steel industry uses over 20 million tons of steel and iron scrap annually to produce new products. © Ralph Aichinger / Flickr.com

The German steel industry uses over 20 million tons of steel and iron scrap annually to produce new products. © Ralph Aichinger / Flickr.com

According to the study, the amount of tin plate consumed totalled 490,000 tons and was therefore slightly down against 2013. Experts also attribute this trend to the production of more sustainable and, hence, primarily lighter food and beverage cans. The reduction in wall thickness, however, does not impair the properties of steel products but offers other ecological advantages instead. In addition to high recycling performance food is also guaranteed long-term and energy-efficient shelf life. Tin plate packaging offers comprehensive protection for food and beverages thereby preventing loss and waste. Even after years canned food can be consumed without hesitation. For 2016 the steel industry in Europe expects raw steel production to decrease. The reason being the high import volumes at dumping prices – pre-dominantly from China.

Flexibility and innovation

A car contains steel that used to be a washing machine, a bicycle or a beverage can in its earlier life. © Volkswagen AG

A car contains steel that used to be a washing machine, a bicycle or a beverage can in its earlier life. © Volkswagen AG

In addition to its environmental benefits this substitute for primary raw materials scores points with tailor-made corporate design: the colour, shape and size of the cans can be adapted to customer specifications. Innovative manufacturing technologies and modern packaging machines make it possible to produce up to 150 individual can bodies per minute while a dynamic hydraulic process guarantees welded seam tightness.

But tin plate is not only king when it comes to recycling, it also won this year’s “Wirtschaftsvereinigung Stahl” innovation award with an aerosol tin by “Lanico, Schuler” and “ThyssenKrupp Rasselstein”. Together, the Brunswick-based machine tool producer, metal press manufacturer and packaging steel group submitted a so-called “monobloc concept” for producing the 'SteeloCare' – one that can be used not only to produce standardised dimensions but also the first cans with an internal closure/sealing mechanism.
The European market is inundated by large quantities of steel from China sold at dumping prices. In October 2015 alone these imports to the EU soared up by 120%. © © stevecuk / fotolia.com

The European market is inundated by large quantities of steel from China sold at dumping prices. In October 2015 alone these imports to the EU soared up by 120%. © © stevecuk / fotolia.com

Steel scrap is collected virtually nationwide to be then used for recycling nearly 100%. © “Stahl-Zentrum”

Steel scrap is collected virtually nationwide to be then used for recycling nearly 100%. © “Stahl-Zentrum”

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