Press Release

Steel Industry backs a measure of ‘real’ recycling

Brussels, 19 January 2017 – The Environment Committee (ENVI) of the European Parliament (EP) will vote on 24 January to finalise its report on the revision of the Waste Framework Directive (2008/98/EC). The EU steel industry requests that the provision on ‘final recycling’ – originally proposed by the European Commission – is retained in order to measure ‘real’ recycling.

“Steel is 100% recyclable and the steel industry is itself one of the largest recyclers in Europe. The scrap sourced by steel companies is efficiently transformed by our industrial processes into various products” said Axel Eggert, Director General of the European Steel Association (EUROFER). “It is therefore important that the revision of the Waste Framework Directive recognises this through the adoption of the definition of final recycling process, in order to better support recycling in Europe.”

“Passing from the various existing recycling calculation methodologies to just one new methodology cannot be achieved overnight, but it is necessary and needs the cooperation of all the stakeholders involved”, added Mr Eggert. “The measurement of ‘real recycling’ – i.e. assessing the recycling rates at the input into the final recycling process – is one of the cornerstones that needs to be in place to build-up a functioning circular economy in which unintended trade-offs are avoided”.

“EUROFER call on the European Parliament to support this view, laying thus the foundation elements of the Circular Economy within the Waste Framework Directive”, concluded Mr Eggert.

In December 2016, the European federations representing circular materials – paper, steel and non-ferrous metals – joint forces backing real recycling.


Notes for Editors

***Please check against website version***


A PDF of this Press Release is available: here


Charles de Lusignan, Communications Manager, +32 2 738 79 35 (charles@eurofer.be)

Joint position paper on the Waste Directive

The joint position paper is available: here

About steel and the Circular Economy

Steel is a 100% recyclable, ‘permanent’ material, which loses none of its unique properties when properly processed. The European steel industry works hard to ensure that the steel it produces can be reused, recovered, and recycled. It also ensures that steel production’s by-products, such as slags and process, gases are put to the best possible uses.

This EUROFER brochure provides recommendations to policy makers dealing with issues arising in the circular economy for the steel industry. It shows that steel can help mitigate CO2 emissions and help reduce product lifecycle emissions. Steel’s characteristic as a ‘permanent’ material means it can be easily reused and subsequently recycled in a constant loop.

To this end, the brochure proposes that the recycling definition in the EU’s waste legislation be adapted to properly meet the aspirations of the circular economy. Finally, it demonstrates the large degree to which steel production retains as much of the material created during steel production and is able to make use of its by-products.

The Steel and the Circular Economy brochure is available at: www.eurofer.eu

About the European steel industry

The European steel industry is a world leader in innovation and environmental sustainability. It has a turnover of around €170 billion and directly employs 330,000 highly-skilled people, producing on average 170 million tonnes of steel per year. More than 500 steel production sites across 24 EU Member States provide direct and indirect employment to millions more European citizens. Closely integrated with Europe’s manufacturing and construction industries, steel is the backbone for development, growth and employment in Europe.

Steel is the most versatile industrial material in the world. The thousands of different grades and types of steel developed by the industry make the modern world possible. Steel is 100% recyclable and therefore is a fundamental part of the circular economy. As a basic engineering material, steel is also an essential factor in the development and deployment of innovative, CO2-mitigating technologies, improving resource efficiency and fostering sustainable development in Europe.

The European Steel Association (EUROFER AISBL)

Avenue de Cortenbergh, 172
B-1000 Brussels

Tel.: +32 2 738 79 20
Fax.: +32 2 738 79 55