Championing circularity

Permanent materials are truly circular by nature.

They do not lose their structural properties when they are recycled after multiple recycling loops so they can be reused over and over again. This makes them the golden standard when it comes to high quality recycling and is why they are so critical for the EU’s transition to a circular economy.

The EU’s Packaging and Packaging Waste Regulation (PPWR) proposal requires that all packaging be reusable or recyclable by 2030.

From this perspective, striving for high-quality recycling is a key piece of the puzzle. To start with, high quality recycling should be properly defined under the PPWR, providing that the material to be recycled can withstand multiple recycling loops, without change to the intrinsic material properties and with minimal materials losses during the recycling process.

Also, there should be an efficient and well-designed infrastructure in place to enable the proper separate collection, sorting and recycling of waste packaging. It is critical that the PPWR sets out clear measures for Member States to improve and harmonize separate collection systems. This will enhance the quantity of quality secondary raw materials (recyclates), ensuring they are readily available to replace primary raw materials in future applications.

In order to respect the timeline set out in the PPWR, the European Commission must work quickly to adopt the secondary legislation that will define key concepts such as the Design for Recycling (DfR) criteria and the at-scale methodology. This will ensure legal certainty and predictability and give economic operators sufficient time to adapt.

About permanent materials

As permanent materials, aluminium, glass and steel can be recycled over and over again without losing their key intrinsic properties, thus maintaining circular material loops. Such materials are, and will remain, at the heart of any proven and well-functioning Circular Economy.

The aluminium, glass and steel sectors are top performers in recycling packaging materials.



(beverage cans) 2020
recycling rate




2021 recycling rate

EU27, UK



2020 recycling rate

EU27, UK, NO, CH

About us

The Permanent Materials Alliance brings together APEAL – The Association of European Producers of Steel for Packaging, European Aluminium, FEVE – The European Container Glass Federation and Metal Packaging Europe. Together, our sectors are united to promote permanent materials and deliver a fully circular economy in Europe.

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