Tinplate has High Recycling Rate

A new representative survey confirms the strong trend towards increasing environmental awareness among the German population. At the same time, consumers often still misjudge the sustainability of various packaging materials. The new initiative weissblech-kommt-weiter.de (tinplate goes further) aims to provide consumers with better information.

For 89 percent of all respondents, good environmental properties of packaging are important, and just as many consumers named recyclability as an important property in their purchasing decisions. This is a key finding of a representative survey of 1061 respondents conducted by the opinion research institute YouGov on behalf of the weissblech-kommt-weiter.de platform. This means that ecological aspects are almost as important to consumers as the classic purchase attributes “shelf life of a food product” (93 percent), “taste” (95 percent) and “handling of the packaging” (88 percent).

In fact, consumers believe that sustainability will soon be the dominant criterion for packaging. Almost three quarters of respondents (72 percent) believe that environmental properties will become even more important in the future, particularly for packaging. Almost one in two said in the survey that they had already put a product back on the shelf in the supermarket or discount store because the packaging was not recyclable. A further 30 percent of respondents do this “occasionally” or even “frequently.”

Not only are consumers making more conscious choices, but they are also willing to pay more for packaging if it is more sustainable. In the YouGov survey, 59 percent of respondents said they would be willing to accept additional costs. Other surveys also conclude that consumers would pay higher prices for products, if their packaging had less impact on the environment and they could thus make an active contribution to environmental protection.

Platform with information on tinplate

When it comes to packaging for long-life foods, 20 percent of respondents prefer tinplate cans. Only seven percent, on the other hand, rely on cardboard composite packaging and just two percent on plastic. Only glass packaging with a tinplate closure has an even higher level of acceptance (50 percent). Tinplate is strong in terms of recyclability: the metal can be recycled almost infinitely. Given the choice between two identically priced products, 62 percent of consumers would reach for the one in tinplate packaging – only 14 percent would opt for plastic packaging.

However, only very few consumers know how tinplate recycling works in Germany. For example, consumers estimate that the recycling rate for tinplate is only 55 percent. The actual figure is much higher at 91 percent, and tinplate is the most recycled packaging material throughout Europe. The survey shows that younger people in particular know far too little about tinplate as a material and its sustainable benefits. When the respondents are informed of the fact that tinplate can be almost 100 percent recycled without any loss of quality, the majority are positively impressed (85 percent). This even encourages 79 percent of those surveyed to use tinplate as packaging more often when shopping.

The platform weissblech-kommt-weiter.de has therefore set itself the goal of educating consumers about the sustainability of tinplate and providing them with clear facts and information about the closed recycling loop of steel.