The overall recycling rate for aluminium cans in Europe has risen by 2.4 per cent to 68 per cent.
Latest data for the EU 27 countries plus European Free Trade Area countries and Turkey in 2011 shows that 25 billion cans are recycled in Europe annually representing 365,000 tonnes of recycled aluminium.
This means 3 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions are avoided.
As a result of this progress, the European Aluminium Association that compiled the data, is confident that the aluminium beverage can recycling rate will further increase towards the voluntary targets set by the industry of 75 per cent in 2015 and 80 per cent in 2020.
The European Aluminium Association has also encouraged the roll-out of the UK developed Every Can Counts campaign that now also operates in seven other countries.
It has also called for more ambitious household packaging recycling goals in view of the upcoming revision of the EU Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive. It wants to see the gradual phase-out of landfill of all recyclables such as aluminium and it would prefer to see separate collection of the metal packaging fraction.
The association is also calling for more transparency in national and European packaging recovery data so that actual recycling is reported rather than collection.
In 2011, the performance of countries was varied with Finland coming top with 98 per cent recycling of aluminium beverage cans followed by Belgium (and Luxembourg), Germany, Norway, Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland which were all above 90 per cent.
The UK was mid-ranking with a 60 per cent recycling rate. The worst performing country was Cyprus with 16 per cent, followed by Romania (22 per cent), Malta (30 per cent) and Latvia (30 per cent).