In Europe, end-of-life recycling rates are already above 90% for transport and construction and near 70% for beverage cans.

Gerd Gotz, director general of the EAA, says that the aluminium industry is a major contributor to a resource-efficient society. He believes, however, that legislation is needed for the industry to make even bigger strides in recycling.

According to the EAA, the aluminium industry welcomes a review of EU waste legislation and has a number of key messages for those charged with reviewing it.

First, it wants more ambitious recycling targets and a level playing field between materials and products. It also wants a gradual phasing out of landfill for end-use recyclable goods.
The EAA also wants a more effective collection and sorting system, greater investment in existing technologies and financial incentives for those developing new and innovative solutions.

Improved and more transparent reporting – ensuring the EU is informed about the most relevant recycling date – and clearer definitions that distinguish between endless material recycling in a closed material loop and recycling that results in the degradation of the collected materials.

The EAA is calling for better scrap monitoring to ensure that enough remains in Europe to meet demand and prevent poor recycling practices in other countries. It has advocated a global certification system for scrap melting facilities operating under similar health, safety and environmental conditions that exist in Europe; and it wants to ensure that the correct life cycle assessment methodologies are employed to recognise the ‘recycling credentials’ of metal products.