UK aluminium recycling rate rises

The Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation (Alupro), the industry funded, not-for-profit organisation which represents the UK’s aluminium packaging industry has revealed that the UK aluminium drinks can recycling rate has risen to 75%, its highest ever level, up from 54% in 2010.  Additionally, 95% of aluminium packaging collected in the UK is recycled within Europe, rather than being sent further afield. With sustainability becoming more and more important, the drinks can remains the most recycled packaging in the world.

The overall aluminium packaging rate has continued to rise steadily too, from 41% in 2010 to 52% in 2018, meaning that over 100,000 tonnes of aluminium packaging sold in the UK was recycled last year.

These significant improvements in UK aluminium recycling rates is attributed to the investment made by the aluminium sector as a whole to ensure that the packaging they produce is recycled.

Alupro believes that its programmes, such as MetalMatters and Every Can Counts, are positively impacting the behaviour of people across the UK by creating awareness of the recyclability of aluminium and metal packaging.

The government is currently consulting on reform to the producer responsibility system, which could lead to more accurate reporting of recycling rates.  A significant volume of used aluminium packaging is being recycled from refuse-derived fuel outside the UK, but not currently being officially recorded towards UK targets.  This means the latest impressive rates are still underreported, and future recycling rates for aluminium packaging will be even higher under these reforms.

AcuComm currently lists around 138 active projects worldwide which deal in some way with the recycling of aluminium. 60 of these are in the USA, while 13 are in Germany. The UK is in third place globally with ten active projects.