Seven out of 10 aluminium drink cans sold in the UK in 2016 were recycled, according to the Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation (Alupro).
Beverage cans made up most of the 180,000 tonnes of aluminium packaging placed on the market last year in the country, with the UK being the largest beverage can market in Europe.
The 70% milestone for aluminium cans reinforces the European metal packaging sector’s ambition for an 80% metal packaging recycling rate by 2025.
Alupro executive director Rick Hindley said: “The continued growth is due to the support of our members and partners in the wider industry and their commitment to invest in and support our programmes to drive positive, lasting behaviour change among consumers.”’
Alupro is concerned about a lack of ambition from the Government in setting new targets for aluminium, and had lobbied for targets towards 2020 to be ‘front loaded’ to the earlier years.
A reform to the Packaging Recovery Note system is also sought, including the mandatory registration of reprocessors and exporters to ensure that all material collected for recycling is reported through PRNs. The company wanted an increase for the 2017 target but this was not implemented.
“We remain convinced that future growth in aluminium recycling performance is achievable within the current system, subject to a few revisions which will ensure all recycling is accurately reported and that behaviour change programmes are properly funded on a fair and equitable basis.
“Alupro believes that communication is the missing link between the collection infrastructure and recycling growth, as has been proved over and again by industry-funded programmes such as MetalMatters and Every Can Counts.
”Our focus remains to make people aware of the aluminium in the packaging they use every day and how to recycle it, so that the metal can be given a new life, over and over again.”