The protocol, which has been developed by the Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation (Alupro) and has been acknowledged by the Environment Agency (EA), could see as much as 10,000 tonnes of recovered aluminium being counted towards the targets set for the recovery of aluminium packaging.

The new IBA protocol recognises that a minimum of 50% of the non-ferrous content of IBA is aluminium packaging (drinks cans, foil, aerosols etc.). Its introduction follows an extensive and detailed study by Alupro of material, in co-operation with the UK-based companies that process IBA and in consultation with the EA. Across Europe aluminium packaging is routinely recovered from IBA and is counted towards the national aluminium packaging recycling rates.

The development of the protocol is part of Alupro’s strategy to try to ensure that all of the aluminium packaging collected for recycling is counted to arrive at the “true” recycling rate. In the past the sector has expressed concerns about the ability of the PRN system to accurately report the true recycling performance of aluminium packaging. The new protocol will also enable a more accurate comparison between the sector’s recycling performance in the UK with its European counterparts.

Speaking about the new IBA protocol, Rick Hindley, Executive Director, Alupro said: “Aluminium packaging is already being recovered and recycled from IBA in the UK. The establishment of this protocol is excellent news as it will now mean that this recovered aluminium packaging can count towards national recycling targets. We would always prioritise the collection of household aluminium through clean collection systems to ensure maximum value of the material is achieved, but with the growth of energy from waste plants set to increase between now and 2020 it is important that the aluminium content of IBA is counted towards national recycling targets.”