Aluminium packaging recycling rate set to surpass target

According to Q3 data released by the Environment Agency in November, aluminium packaging recycling rates in the UK have hit record-breaking levels again and seem on track to exceed their annual target.

Q3 2021 saw 39,974 tonnes of aluminium packaging collected for recycling, an increase of 15% compared to the same period last year (34,700). Between January and September, a total of 121,277 tonnes of aluminium packaging were collected for recycling – 9% higher than in 2020 (111,754).

With a net annual requirement of 134,243 tonnes, taking into consideration a carry-in of 8,326 tonnes, the forecast points towards a record-breaking recycling rate for 2021.

Aluminium packaging collected through kerbside, bring and on-the-go systems totalled 28,601 tonnes (an increase of 11% compared to 2020), while tonnage recovered from energy from waste (EfW) rose from 8,463 in 2020 to 11,052 in 2021 (an 8% increase).

Tom Giddings, general manager of Alupro, said: “The UK’s PRN data for Q3 shows another strong year-on-year increase among separately collected aluminium packaging, other local protocol fractions and aluminium packaging recovered from IBA.

“While many were suggesting that the high recycling rates experienced in 2020 were a short-term trend, coming as a direct result of the Covid-19 lockdowns, it’s reassuring to see that record volumes have continued into 2021 and show no signs of slowing.

“As we move into Q4, assuming volumes remain high, we could see recycling rates surpass 70% for all aluminium packaging and more than 80% for aluminium beverage cans before the end of the year – a huge achievement for the industry.”

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