Last week car manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover spoke to MRW about its collaboration with Novelis on increasing the amount of recycled aluminium in vehicles.
We have made a big investment in car recycling capability at our Warrington plant.
The UK is becoming an important automotive sector with strong capability in light-weighting. Car manufacturers are trying to reduce emissions and they are moving to aluminium because of its light weight. They are also thinking about recycling because they know that is good for their carbon footprint.
JLR is one of the leaders in such design and engineering, and Novelis is working closely with the company on material supply, whole product supply and recycling.
They take our aluminium coin and sheet and stamp out products in their plant.
We are moving towards getting that waste material back into a closed loop system.
Aluminium in cars is going through some significant changes. JLR is increasingly using aluminium for the whole structure, the body panels and the chassis. Other companies heading down this route include Audi, BMW, Mercedes and Ford.
The International Aluminium Institute estimates that more than 90% of aluminium in cars is being recycled today, but this a relatively small proportion of the whole. This amount of material available is going to change quite dramatically.
If you buy a Range Rover, it will probably be 10-15 years before it reaches its end of life, unlike beverage cans, which tend to come back into the recycling system within six weeks.
But cars being scrapped today which were made 10-15 years ago have relatively small amounts of aluminium in them.
Since 2011, for all products globally, we have moved from using 32% recycled aluminium to 40%, and we are confident we will reach 50% by next year, on our way to our target of 80% recycled input by 2020.
In packaging, Novelis is mainly focused on beverage cans. We introduced the Evercan a few months ago - the world’s first certified high recycled content body sheet for cans.
It has a minimum of 90% high recycled content.
No-one else is offering that amount or a certified high-recycled product anywhere in the world.
We are in discussion with some major brands and retailers, and you will be able to see Evercan on the supermarket shelves in the not too distant future.
We are also seeing increasing interest in sustainability from retailers looking to cut their carbon, energy and water usage and, obviously, packaging and recycling is a big element of that.
Evercan products will come out of our production plant in Latchford in the UK, which has been certified by the auditors SES Environmental. We have been expanding the capacity of this used beverage plant, and we are now able to process a wider range of can qualities.
We have also worked on getting cans out of kerbside collections and other types of waste streams. But we have struggled with doing this in the past and have faced high levels of contamination with organics and plastic.
When it comes to legislation, we had a bit of concern when the Scrap Metal Dealers Act 2013 first came into force, but it is actually working quite well.
We are working closely with aluminium packaging recycling organisation Alupro, and most of the cash-for-cans networks and charity collections have adapted to the legislation very well.
When you have new legislation, you are unsure about whether the administration and bureaucracy might make an impact, but that has not been the case.
John Gardner, vice president and chief sustainability officer at Novelis, was talking to Tom Kenning