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EU aluminium can recycling at record level

Europe – The overall recycling rate for aluminium beverage cans among EU member states increased by 2.4 percentage points to a record 68% in 2011. When including collection of cans in the remaining European countries and Turkey, this means that more than 25 billion cans were recycled in that year, according to the European Aluminium Association (EAA).

The organisation is confident that the aluminium beverage can recycling rate will continue to increase towards the voluntary targets set by the industry for 2015 (75%) and 2020 (80%). But in order to achieve these ambitious levels, the EAA underlines that it is important for the full value chain involved in the recycling of cans to continue to invest in existing and additional collection and sorting facilities.

According to the EAA, extended producer responsibility schemes should: recognise the scrap value of well-sorted aluminium packaging fractions; and, together with the local authorities responsible for the collection of various packaging (and household) waste streams, use modern sorting technologies such as advanced eddy-current separators.

The organisation also highlights the importance of awareness campaigns in focusing on the need for collections and recycling to extend to the ‘out-of-home’ cans consumed in the workplace or at festivals and sporting events.

In view of the upcoming revision of the EU Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive, the EAA stresses the need for more ambitious household packaging recycling goals, including the gradual phasing-out of landfill of all recyclables such as aluminium and other metal packaging.

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