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UK increases share in aluminium recycling

More than three quarters of aluminium packaging collected in the UK is now being recycled here, six percentage points up on the same period in 2010.

Figures on the National Packaging Waste Database website show the total of aluminium packaging collected and recycled nationally in Q1 and Q2 this year was 76%. In 2010, the figure for the two quarters was 70%, with the rest sent overseas.

The figures also show that the amount of aluminium packaging collected so far in 2011 has increased by 32% against Q1 and Q2 in 2010. This reflects comments made by 360 Environmental director Phil Conran in an MRW story published in July when Q2 numbers were released.

Alupro executive director Rick Hindley said: “Aluminium has almost 90% share of the can market, as packaging manufacturers shift from steel. This means there are more cans out there to collect but there is also a higher demand for them.”  

Commenting on the increased share of aluminium recycled in the UK, Hindley said: “The location where material is recycled depends on demand from certain markets and the price competition between the domestic and export markets. These figures absolutely show that the domestic market is competing strongly against the overseas market.

“It probably also reflects a desire from companies to reprocess material in the UK.”

MRW/WRAP prices show that aluminium cans are currently valued at £960-£1,020 per tonne.

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