An average Europe-wide recycling rate of 75% was achieved in 2013, up from 74% the previous year and the best year for steel packaging recycling across the continent.
Data from the Association of European Producers of Steel for Packaging (APEAL), made up of four multi-national producers of steel packaging, was review by consultancy Eunomia.
The association said the result comes at a time when the recycling of other materials appears to “stagnate”.
The rate equates to over 20 years of continuous improvement by the steel for packaging sector where recycling rates have risen more than threefold.
The industry is working to reach a voluntary objective of 80% recycling rate by 2020.
Alexander Mohr, secretary general of APEAL, said: “The scrapping of the Circular Economy Package earlier this year by the EU Commission was clearly disappointing, but there are promising signs that a replacement will be announced soon that will provide ambitious recycling targets necessary for pushing Europe towards a circular economy.”