According to figures released by the Environment Agency (EA) earlier this week (12 March), 116,670 tonnes of aluminium packaging were collected for recycling in the UK last year – a 17% increase compared to 2018 figures (99,852) and surpassing government targets by more than 8,400 tonnes.
Aluminium packaging collected through kerbside, bring and on-the-go systems increased by almost 21% (from 74,595 to 89,974), while tonnage recovered from incinerator bottom ash also experienced an uplift (from 25,546 to 26,696).
Rick Hindley, executive director at Alupro (pictured), commented: “I was delighted to read the EA data, which highlights another impressive rise in the volume of aluminium packaging collected and recycled across the UK. Since 2010, the industry has experienced a steady increase (11%), which should be seen as a considerable achievement!
“Record rates suggests increased public awareness about the benefits of aluminium recycling and positive action towards improving resource efficiency. This highlights the importance of our behavioural change programmes – MetalMatters and Every Can Counts.
“Looking forward to the first two months of 2020, provisional data highlights a year-on-year increase of 52% (compared to the same period in 2019), with 19,371 tonnes of aluminium already collected for recycling. This, alongside a highly positive carry over, puts the industry in an excellent position to surpass this year’s targets, which again increase by 3% (from 61% to 64%).
“Consequently, under normal market conditions, we anticipate that PRN prices should begin to fall and return to a more realistic and sustainable level. It’s therefore essential that we continue to celebrate increasing recycling rates, while maintaining focus on achieving our ambition of close to 100% recycling across the UK.”