APEAL appoints new president

APEAL has appointed Luc Brantjes, Tata Steel’s packaging division director of sales, as the association’s new president.

Luc Brantjes was elected unanimously by the board and general assembly of APEAL and succeeds Viliam Gašpar of US Steel Košice. His role as the 13th President of APEAL is effective from 1 January 2023 and is in line with the biennial rotating presidency of the association.

Commenting on his nomination Brantjes said: “I would like to thank Viliam Gašpar for his strong leadership over the past two years as President of APEAL. Mr. Gašpar commenced his presidency during an unprecedented time for the association, at the height of coronavirus restrictions across the globe.

“Despite the challenges presented by the pandemic during Gašpar’s term, APEAL was delighted to see recycling of steel packaging in Europe hit another all-time high of 85.5%, which is an increase of 1.5% and is the 10th consecutive year in which the overall recycling rate has risen.

“The rise in the recycling rate of steel for packaging clearly demonstrates the sustainability credentials of the material as households across Europe are increasingly making a positive choice for the environment. Stakeholders can be assured that steel for packaging is a tried, tested, and sustainable solution ideally suited to a 21st century circular economy.

“Under Mr. Gašpar’s leadership the association was also able to focus attention on closing the loop of steel recycling through promotion of separate collection amongst other actions, releasing a new recycling report Why Steel Recycles Forever and welcoming a bold step towards a truly circular economy in the form of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR) proposal recently published by the European Commission.

“However, many challenges remain. During my presidency, APEAL will strive for greater focus on ensuring that no recyclable packaging goes to landfill in the forthcoming review of the Waste Framework and Landfill directives. Permanent materials such as steel are too valuable to waste.

“I will also work hard to support the reduction of food waste. Food waste accounts for up to 10% of greenhouse gas emissions, and steel for packaging provides a key to reducing such emissions. Due to longer shelf life and less waste from food preparation, tinned foods drastically cut food waste and present an affordable option for consumers at a time when the price of food is rising across Europe.

“In addition to reducing emissions from food waste, I am excited to start my presidency at a time of great innovation in the steel industry and I look forward to working with stakeholders throughout the value chain to support the reduction of emissions through a transition to greener steel.

“There is no doubt the years ahead will present some significant challenges, but I am confident the APEAL team will continue to work successfully with the European Commission, European Parliament, Member States and all stakeholders to deliver our ambitious plans.”

Luc Brantjes has over 25 years of experience in the steel industry, most recently as director of sales in Tata Steel’s packaging division. Brantjes studied Business Economics at the University of Amsterdam.

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