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2013 Review - Rick Hindley

Although we await the Q4 PRN results, the trend to-date has been extremely positive and I am confident we will exceed our 2013 obligations of recycling 62,226 tonnes of aluminium packaging.

Much of this aluminium is recovered kerbside and the increasingly large volumes of aluminium captured through this route underlines the success of the programmes we run on behalf of the metal packaging industry and in partnership with local authorities to encourage ever more recycling. Most encouraging is how the campaigns are delivering lasting behavioural change with householders.

The MetalMatters communications programme  aims to educate households about metal packaging and motivate them to recycle more. Latest data shows that the programme successfully delivers sustained increases in the volumes of metal packaging collected long after the campaign period ends – even one year on – so returns many times over the initial investment.

Our Every Can Counts programme has also had another extremely successful year, with over 1,000 new workplaces taking on the programme to promote recycling outside the home. Our recycling ‘on the go’ message targeted over 600,000 people at six major UK festivals encouraging them to recycle on-site, whilst a strong social media campaign saw us engaging with over 550,000 online users.

The Every Can Counts programme has also headed north of the border with its recent launch in Scotland. Supported by the Scottish Government’s delivery partner, Zero Waste Scotland, and A. G. Barr, it marks a three-year commitment to drive up recycling rates within the workplace. With an estimated 252 million cans consumed outside the home in Scotland, there is enormous potential and a great deal of aluminium just waiting to be captured.

This year also saw us launch a new programme, in partnership with British Glass, and which also supports local authorities called You Can Leave Your Cap On. Through PR and on-bin and bottle bank stickers, the campaign aims to encourage householders to screw the aluminium caps back on to their wine and glass bottles before recycling them. As there is an estimated 5,000 tonnes of recoverable aluminium available through bottle caps and closures, just this small behavioural change should deliver significant results. Trial programmes have been launched in Sevenoaks, Dartford, Portsmouth, Bedford, Leeds and North Lincolnshire and whilst it is too early for hard statistics, anecdotally it is having a positive effect.

On the lobbying front, this year saw us pursuing discussions with respect to the recent review of Producer Responsibility Schemes and we shall also be watching closely the devolved administrations, especially the Scottish independence vote and its implications for national recycling policy and the programmes that we have in place. It is important to ensure the views and opinions of the aluminium packaging producers are presented at government level and considered with respect to future legislation. Early signs are we are being listened to. Time will tell.

Rick Hindley, Executive Director, Alupro

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