Cable recycling: Sustainability and disposal of materials

  • Article
  • Sustainability

There are many ways to handle end-of-life cable materials, not all of which are responsible when it comes to resource management or environmental impact. Explore our end-of-life guide, outlining more sustainable solutions for recycling, reuse and disposal of cable materials and packaging.


At Habia, we’re well-practiced when it comes to solving the impossible – it’s in our DNA, and what we aim to deliver for our customers every day. But, unsurprisingly, solving the impossible isn’t always an easy ambition. 

Solving sustainability – a long-term challenge

Sustainability is a key element in building a smarter, more connected future – but also an enormous challenge for industries and governments across the globe. For us, it isn’t just about developing and manufacturing products that meet our customers' requirements. It’s also about constantly striving for better, more efficient ways of doing things, and reducing the environmental impact of our operations and products. 

In development and production, we adhere to high specifications and standards, and all of our materials are evaluated for their impact on health, the environment and their compliance with legislation. 

Solutions for a smarter future 

Many of our products contribute to sustainability through their design and end-use. Often they can reduce energy consumption and climate impact through lighter weight, longer operational lifespans or higher performance and efficiency. Our cable solutions also contribute to important existing and emerging sustainable energy applications including nuclear, tidal and wave power. 

But what happens at the end of the road – either after the products are delivered, or when they reach their end of life? We all have a responsibility to help reduce waste, be climate-conscious and make the most of our valuable resources. 

Let’s explore the options when it comes to disposing of end-of-life cable materials, and the best choices for minimizing environmental impact. 


When Habia dispatches a cable product to a customer, it is always protected with suitable packaging material to ensure that it is protected from impact during transport. To minimize environmental impact, wooden spools, pallets, foamed plastic and similar packaging materials can be reused – either by your own company or others. Cardboard, or any plastic sheeting or packaging, if unable to be reused, should be recycled. 


Due to their metal components, most cables have a certain value, even after their service life. Metal conductors, once separated from the plastics, can be fully recycled. 

Many of the more standard cable plastics can also be recycled. However, some plastic materials – particularly those in specialised cables requiring, for example, UV stabilization or particular pigments – may be more difficult to recycle due to the additives added. 

If you ever aren’t sure about the recyclability of a cable, please reach out to Habia (or the end product manufacturer) for confirmation. 

Non-recyclable materials

If you have not been able to reuse or recycle any of the materials as recommended, the final choice to reduce climate impact is to use a waste disposal option or partner that facilitates energy recovery. In this way, the scrap or waste can still make a valuable contribution to energy production - without entering landfills or our oceans. 

Provided below is a quick-reference guide to the preferred methods of disposing of cable materials and packaging* received from Habia.

Material Reuse Recycling Energy recovery
Cables: Plastic material separated from the metal conductor   A metals
A plastic
B plastic

Wooden spools

 A   B

Plastic spools

  A B

Plywood spools


Pallet materials

A   B
Cardboard A B C

Plastic sheeting (PE)

  A B

Foamed plastic

 A   B

Lamiflex material

  A B

Steel belt


Plastic belts (PP)


A - most preferable
B - if A is not possible
C - least preferable alternative

*Based on requirements in EU-directive 94/62/EU and 2012/19/EU (WEEE). Please note, cables are not directly affected by the WEEE directive -instead, it is the manufacturer of the product where the cable is included that is responsible for recycling the included cable.

Please always leave the recycling of materials and/or energy recovery to responsible recycling companies and always manage your waste disposal in accordance with your country´s legislation. For our Swedish operations, Habia Cable uses Stena Recycling as a partner for recycling. They have operations in the Nordic countries, Poland, Germany and Italy.