European aluminium can recycling continues to rise despite substantial growth in consumption, according to the European Aluminium Association (EAA). High recycling rates, of up to 92%, were found in countries with deposit or take back systems, such as Germany. However, mixed waste and separate metal packaging waste collection schemes in other countries had also improved their rates. The EAA said that rates went up in most countries but most progress was made in Belgium, Ireland, the UK, Hungary and Poland.
High scrap values and the ability to obtain good quality fractions with sorting had helped to drive rates up.
Across Europe recycling rates rose 6% from 52% in 2005 to 57.7 in 2006, while consumption of aluminium beverage cans rose 11.31% from 25.1 to 28.3 billion units. The EAA said there had been growth in consumption in Central and Eastern Europe of more than 15% compared to 2005, which is nearly 1.4 billion units.
Earlier this week Environment Minister Joan Ruddock told the House of Commons that there is further potential for aluminium recycling and that it has been identified as one of seven priority materials for action in the Waste Strategy 2007. (February 25 2008, mrw.co.uk)