According to Alupro, the UK aluminium drink can recycling rate has risen to 75%, its highest rate ever, up from 54% in 2010, with 95% of aluminium packaging collected in the UK recycled in Europe.
The overall aluminium packaging rate has continued to rise too, from 41% in 2010 to 52% in 2018, meaning that over 100,000 tonnes of this packaging sold in the UK was recycled last year.
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These improvements have been linked to the investment made by the aluminium sector as a whole to ensure that the packaging they produce is recycled.
Alupro has said that the programmes it manages such as MetalMatters and Every Can Counts are “impacting the behaviour of people across the UK by creating awareness of the recyclability of aluminium and metal packaging”.
Alupro executive director Rick Hindley said: “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.”
The Government is currently consulting on reforms to the producer responsibility system, which could lead to more accurate reporting of recycling rates.
A significant volume of used aluminium packaging is being recycled from Refuse Derived Fuel outside the UK but is not currently being officially recorded towards UK targets. This means that the latest rates are still underreported, and future recycling rates for aluminium packaging will be even higher under these reforms, said Alupro.