According to recent data published on the National Packaging Waste Database (NPWD) by the Environment Agency (EA), aluminium packaging recycling volumes continue to increase – showing an impressive uplift compared to 2022 figures.

In Q1 alone, 40,478 tonnes of aluminium packaging were collected for recycling – a 14% increase year-on-year (35,382). Of this volume, 28,850 tonnes were ‘actively’ recycled by consumers through kerbside, bring and on-the-go systems (+14% YOY), while 11,323 were recovered from incinerator bottom ash (IBA), with tonnages jumping +20% YOY.

So far this year, a total of 60,621 tonnes have been captured across the UK, representing a 13% increase compared to the same period last year (53,725). While the obligation is lower across all material types, this demonstrates continued progress.

Tom Giddings, executive director of Alupro, commented: “The UK’s latest PRN data shows an impressive increase when it comes to separately collected aluminium packaging, material recovered from IBA and other local protocol fractions. It’s positive news indeed that PRNs issued to date this year are already well ahead of target.

“While we can’t guarantee that this pace will continue throughout the rest of 2023, with six months of the year – and the busy Christmas period – still to go, the feel is decidedly positive across the supply chain when it comes to outperforming 2022 figures.

“We’re still awaiting market data to be submitted by some companies, which once again suggests that enforcement needs to be better and system reform is critical. However, if recycling volumes continue to climb and the obligation remains stable once missing data has been entered, we could be on course for an impressive total tonnage for 2023.

“Although some industry critics had suggested that the high recycling rates experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic were just a short-term trend, it’s reassuring to see that impressive volumes have continued. This is, in part, due to changing consumer behaviours, driven by programmes such as Every Can Counts and MetalMatters.”