The overall recycling rate for aluminium beverage cans in the EU, Switzerland, Norway and Iceland increased by 0.7% to a new record level of 73.6% in 2015, according to industry body European Aluminium.
On the whole European continent (including other East-European countries, Russia and Turkey) more than 32 billion cans have been recycled. ‘This means that every second at least 1000 aluminium beverage cans are being recycled somewhere in Europe’, says European Aluminium.
According tot he organisation, aluminium beverage cans contribute to a large extent to the overall estimated recycling result of 65% for all aluminium packaging. However, as this result is not yet fully based on the future EU measurement point after the final sorting phase, European Aluminium calls upon the member states to make an extra effort to collect, sort and recycle more drink cans and other aluminium packaging items within the coming years.
Technology is key
‘We strongly recommend that local authorities together with the waste management chain invest more in innovative sorting technology’, comments Andy Doran, chairman of the European Aluminium Packaging Group. ‘Fortunately, these investments will pay off quickly, due to the relatively high scrap value of aluminium,’ he argues.
Doran also points at the need to work together on addressing the recycling of out-of-home beverage cans consumed at the workplace, at festivals or other outdoor events: ‘Packaging recovery organisations should embrace our successful awareness programme with the can manufacturers, Every Can Counts, and help us to convince the European citizens to the do the right thing, which is to collect and recycle their used cans wherever they are.’