Alupro – the Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation – were celebrating 21 years of aluminium packaging recycling. During this time recycling of aluminium packaging has risen from less than 2% to more than 40%. Given that an average of 9 tonnes of CO2 are saved for every 1 tonne recycled, the more recycling the better. My view is that aluminium in packaging has many benefits but these are pretty well eliminated if its not recycled. There was one particular industry stalwart in the audience who felt I was too challenging on this subject but my brief was to be provocative and the feedback from others was very positive. Click here for post conference press release.
I identified four things that need to change, as follows: 1. Weight based targets – aluminium is light and so can be ignored for recycling over heavier materials such as paper; 2. Local authority incentives – government rewards for recycling don’t relate to the value of materials; 3. Commercial recycling – recycling systems for pubs, clubs and restaurants are less developed than domestic recycling; 4. On the Go recycling – a significant proportion of drink cans are consumed on the go and yet recycling schemes for these are in their infancy. Alupro have launched Every Can Counts to promote more on the go recycling of cans.