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New record for cans recycling

Aluminium beverage can recycling has reached almost 74% across Europe, latest data has shown.

Trade body European Aluminium said this rate was well above the future EU circular economy recycling target of 65% for all packaging.

Figures for 2015 cover the EU, Switzerland, Norway and Iceland, and show an increase by 0.7% to a new record level of 73.6%. Across the whole continent, including Russia and Turkey, more than 32 billion cans were recycled.

The organisation said that recycling aluminium uses 95% less energy than producing the metal from its raw materials, saving about 3.6 million tonnes a year of greenhouse gas emissions.

Andy Doran, chair of the European Aluminium Packaging Group, said: ‘’We strongly recommend that local authorities together with the waste management chain to invest more in innovative sorting technologies.

“Fortunately, these investments will pay off quickly because of the relatively high scrap value of aluminium.”

European Aluminium said the best recycling performers were Germany and Finland at 99%, closely followed by Belgium. The worst was Portugal at 29%.

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