Aluminium packaging recycling rates surpass 2020 target

Rick Hindley, Alupro

According to data released by the UK’s Environment Agency last week (22 October), aluminium packaging recycling rates have officially exceeded their 2020 target with three months of the year still remaining.

Q3 saw 42,265 tonnes of aluminium packaging collected for recycling, an increase of 41% compared to the same period in 2019 and 4% higher than the previous quarter in 2020 (40,653). To date in 2020, 119,198 tonnes of aluminium packaging has been collected for recycling – an increase of 48% compared to the same period in 2019.

With a net annual requirement of 113,390 tonnes, taking into consideration a 2019 carry-in of 7,746 tonnes, this means that aluminium packaging recycling rates have already exceeded 2020 targets by more than 5%.

Aluminium packaging collected through kerbside, bring and on-the-go systems totalled 78,685 tonnes (an increase of 28% compared to 2019), while tonnage recovered from incinerator bottom ash (IBA) more than doubled (from 19,139 in 2019 to 40,513 in 2020).

Rick Hindley, executive director at Alupro, commented: “The UK’s PRN data for Q3 shows an astonishing year-on-year increase among separately collected aluminium packaging, other local protocol fractions and aluminium packaging recovered from IBA. I’m delighted that rates have surpassed their target with three months of the year still remaining!

“Following the UK’s Covid-19 lockdown in March and resulting spike in home working, it’s great to see the results of the nation’s continued commitment to recycling its aluminium packaging. This, alongside greater public awareness of the benefits of recycling, have combined to drive the highest aluminium packaging recycling rate ever reported.

“As we move into Q4, assuming volumes remain high and residents continue to consume at home rather than on-the-go, we could see recycling rates reach close to 70% for all aluminium packaging and more than 80% for aluminium beverage cans before the end of the year.”

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