A leading packaging company has claimed sector support for the recycling of paperboard cans with metal ends.
Sonoco has published a letter from the Association of European Producers of Steel for Packaging (APEAL) endorsing the practice of allowing spiral-wound paperboard containers with steel bottoms to be recycled with other steel containers.
Sonoco, which claims to be the world’s largest producer of rigid-paperboard cans, says the practice is already widely used in the United States and Canada.
Sean Cairns, of Sonoco Rigid Paper and Closures in Europe said the endorsement “should clear up any confusion among steel recyclers, customers and consumers on how to handle composite cans with metal ends in the recycling process”.
Sonoco has been lobbying for recognition that a composite can with metal ends should be recycled with “traditional” steel containers.
Mr Cairns added: “Since the paper element of our containers is already manufactured from recycled material, the residual value in our cans is in the metal.
“This endorsement from a major trade organization such as APEAL supports our research and clearly establishes that composite cans with metal ends are an environmentally responsible option in packaging.”
Mr Cairns said that during the recycling process the paperboard in the can is burned away, leaving only the remaining steel.
Sonoco has been operating in the UK since 1923 and has more than 600 employees at 10 locations. It also operates 44 facilities throughout 15 European countries and has more than 5,000 employees.