Bill Boyd (Chief Executive and Director, MPMA)
At MPMA we have created a short video about metal as a Permanently Available Material and its role in the circular economy. While we have referred to ‘Permanently Available Material’ a number of times in Can Makers blogs, the phrase “Circular Economy” is one that is less used.
So what is the circular economy?
The circular economy is an alternative to the traditional linear economy of make, use and dispose. In the circular economy, a resource such as metal is kept in use at its highest utility and value for as long as possible. We extract the maximum use out of the material through re-using and recycling, to create new products and materials that last a lifetime.
What is the benefit of a circular economy for the metals industry?
First, it reduces the volume of raw material (aluminium or steel) being mined; in a world where resources are ‘running out’, minimising the removal of raw materials from the earth is essential. A by-product of this is a reduction in material waste and a reduced environmental impact.
Second, it saves energy and so makes a significant reduction to our carbon footprint: recycling aluminium and steel consumes a fraction of the energy needed to make metal from mined raw materials.
The circular economy does more than create savings for the economy; it seeks to rebuild capital which, in turn, influences a superior flow of products and services.
With regards to metal, the beverage can plays an integral part of the Circular Economy. Why? Because it is infinitely recyclable, without loss of quality or value. That’s why we call it a Permanently Available Material. Further than that, it is the perfect packaging solution to help the UK reach its Waste Framework Directive target of 50% by 2020.
The circular economy of metals:
Now that we know what the circular economy is, and why it is so beneficial, you might like to watch our video, visually demonstrating the circular economy of metal.