Three out of four aluminium beverage cans in the United Kingdom find their way back into the aluminium value stream, marking an all-time high for aluminium beverage cans. Such was the message from the UK’s Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation (Alupro) earlier this week.
According to Alupro, the UK’s 75-percent recycling rate is a significant improvement from the beginning of the decade, with overall aluminium beverage can recycling totaling 54 percent in 2010.
Food and beverage processors increasingly turn to aluminium as a packaging medium per Alupro, with the industry witnessing an 11-percent rise to 52 percent last year. As a result of both increased aluminium usage and increased recycling, the British Isles recycled over 100 metric tons of aluminium that began as food and beverage packaging last year alone.
Executive director of Alupro Rick Hindley noted the high sustainability of aluminium and the British public’s enthusiasm for ensuring that the metal continues to be utilized into the future.
“Aluminium is the perfect example of the circular economy because it can be recycled forever. We know that British consumers want to do their part, so we’re delighted that more cans are being recycled than ever before. Within 60 days the can you recycle could be back on the shelves as another can.”
Alupro credits programs of its own for helping raise aluminium recycling awareness, including MetalMatters and Every Can Counts. The British government is currently working to reform the current producer responsibility system as well, as the large quantities of aluminium recycled by Refuse Derived Fuel outside of Britain are not being credited to the country’s targets. Therefore, as Alupro notes, the numbers published at present represent only a fraction of the true total of recycled aluminium, and future recycling rates are likely to be even greater once reforms are implemented.
With over a quarter century of experience behind them, Alupro is an industry-supported not-for-profit organization established to represent the British aluminium packaging industry. The organization’s membership covers the entirety of the aluminium value chain.