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Recycling in Europe: more investment needed

Europe – Additional investments should be made in EU member states’ recycling infrastructures, insists the European Aluminium Association (EAA).

‘These funds should be used in a more intelligent way and respect the waste management hierarchy, with a strong focus on innovative collection and sorting solutions for recycling,’ comments the organisation’s director for packaging Maarten Labberton. Landfilling of recyclable packaging waste ‘should be phased out’, he adds, while incineration with energy recovery should be kept as a ‘second-best solution’ for the remaining unsorted household waste fraction, ‘including metal recovery from the bottom ashes’.

The association has released new figures showing that the recycling rate for aluminium beverage cans in Europe increased by 1.5 percentage points to a record level of 70% in 2012, a result described by the EAA as ‘an important milestone in its path towards its voluntary recycling targets’ for used beverage cans set for the reporting years 2015 (75%) and 2020 (80%).

More than 27.5 billion cans remain in the European circular economy and are available again for the production of new aluminium products, says the EAA. According to the industry body, the collected cans represent a total of 390 000 tonnes of recycled aluminium.

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