A total of 75% of aluminium cans are currently recycled in the UK, reports aluminium packaging recycling organisation Alupro.
The recycling rate for cans represents a new record and is up notably from 54% in 2010. Besides, up to 95% of aluminium packaging collected in the UK is recycled within Europe instead of being exported to far away countries.
Alupro points out that the overall aluminium packaging rate has also continued to rise; growing from 41% in 2010 to 52% last year. This means that over 100 100 tonnes of aluminium packaging sold in the UK was recycled last year. The volume of aluminium recycled is equivalent to the weight of 361 Airbus airplanes.
‘Aluminium is the perfect example of the circular economy because it can be recycled forever,’ comments Rick Hindley, executive director of Alupro. ‘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.’
It’s important to note that the government is consulting on reform to the producer responsibility system. This could lead to more accurate reporting of recycling rates. At the moment, a large volume of post-consumer aluminium packaging is being recycled from Refuse Derived Fuel outside the UK, but not currently being officially recorded towards UK targets. As a result, the latest ‘impressive’ rates are still underreported, and future recycling rates for aluminium packaging will be even higher under these reforms.