Tata Steel joins UK Aerosol Recycling Initiative

Tata Steel, one of the world’s largest steel producers and one of the UK’s leading steel re-processors, has become the latest organisation to join the UK Aerosol Recycling Initiative and is celebrating as part of national Recycle Week, 16 – 22 October.

Steel aerosols are easily captured for recycling through existing UK recycling schemes – kerbside, magnetic extraction, and even after waste incineration. They make a valuable contribution to UK steel recycling rates, but consumers’ appreciation of their recycling credentials is low compared to other household metal containers such as food cans.

“We all use metal aerosols around the house, and they are widely used by businesses such as hairdressers and tradespeople. Yet there is a definite gap in consumers’ knowledge of the recycling potential of metal aerosol cans and separating them for recycling at home is not yet as instinctive as it is for most other forms of packaging,” explained Nicola Jones, Manager for Steel Packaging Recycling.

“Tata Steel is joining the UK Aerosol Recycling Initiative to help narrow that knowledge gap and help increase metal recycling rates still further.”

Launched by Alupro in Autumn 2022, the campaign’s key priorities are closely aligned to Tata Steel’s own recycling education activities which include encouraging and measuring recycling performance, ensuring consistency of public messaging around metal packaging recycling, and driving targeted consumer education of good home recycling practice.

Other members of the UK Aerosols Recycling Initiative include British Aerosols Manufacturers’ Association and steel packaging manufacturers, Trivium Packaging.

The project also aims to encourage metal aerosol recyclability and viability in a post- extended producer responsibility (EPR) and deposit return scheme landscape.

Tata Steel is seeing greater interest in steel for aerosols. Historically, steel aerosol cans are welded; now though, Tata Steel’s high quality steel grades and can-making knowledge have made a non-welded aerosol can possible in a variety of shapes and sizes.

The Protact® two-piece aerosol can, made by DS Containers in a combined DRD and D&I can-making process, for example, combines value and product integrity giving brands an opportunity to create a premium pack with great consumer appeal.

Weld free, and with a polymer corrosion protection, Protact offers many possibilities for high quality decoration and facilitates a lean production process for aerosol can makers. Two-piece tinplate aerosols made by a D&I process are already on the market.

Tata Steel is also seeing considerable new interest in shaped aerosols which offer exceptional consumer appeal and the company has special high elongation steels that enable the production of these.

Nicola Jones concludes: “Our contribution to a non-welded offer, interest in steel products which offer greater shaping opportunities, plus steel’s exemplary recycling credentials, make now the perfect time to join this recycling initiative.

“Our end goal is to maximise steel collection and recycling, and the UK Aerosol Recycling Initiative will make a significant contribution to this.”

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