Three in four aluminium beverage cans are now recycled in the United Kingdom – up from around one in two in 2010 – according to the latest data from Alupro. In addition, the overall aluminium packaging rate has increased from 41 per cent in 2010 to 53 per cent in 2019, and 95 per cent of aluminium packaging collected in the country is recycled within Europe.
The UK aluminium industry’s improved recycling rates are attributed to the investments made by the sector in the recycling infrastructure. In addition to increased recycling rates, the country has also witnessed an increase in aluminium usage as a packaging medium. In 2018, the UK recycled over 100 metric tonnes of aluminium from food and beverage packaging.
Rick Hindley, executive director of Alupro commented: “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.”
Earlier this year, the think tank Green Alliance urged the UK government to make further investments and achieve a 100 per cent aluminium recycling rate which could save the country £50 million of wasted aluminium each year. While aluminium recycling rates are growing around the EU – with some countries recycling up to 100 per cent of their beverage containers made of the light metal – the secondary aluminium production will still be unable to meet the growing demand for aluminium on the continent making it necessary for the downstream industry to source its raw aluminium from overseas and pay EU import tariffs.
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