The aluminium packaging sector is on course to reach its 2012 recycling targets, but the PRN system is entering uncharted territory, according to Rick Hindley, chief executive of the Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation (Alupro).
Addressing an audience from across the metals and recycling industry at the organisation’s annual seminar in Birmingham, Mr Hindley predicted that in2012 the aluminium sector would reach its target.; “Recently released data for Q3 shows that there is underlying growth of around 2 per cent overall compared to last year, with the 100% packaging category up by around five per cent.”
However Mr Hindley said that there is a real possibility that for the first time ever a packaging material may miss its recycling target and that the effect on the system could be significant.
Welcoming the Government’s new packaging targets set to 2017 he said they create ambitious objectives, which complement Alupro’s own, and he believes there is no doubt that they will move recycling forward.
He added that in order to achieve the new targets, Alupro members and their partners will be focussing efforts on increasing the kerbside collection of aluminium, and other metal packaging, as well as working to ensure that aluminium packaging recovered from residual waste through energy from waste plants (EFW) and other treatment technologies counts towards the officially reported recycling performance.
“We estimate that to reach the new targets a further 19,000 tonnes of aluminium packaging will need to be recovered. Our business plan shows that the majority of this material will have to come from improving capture rates from kerbside collections and by officially recognising the aluminium that is recovered from incinerator bottom ash (IBA). . To achieve this we are working on establishing a new protocol to formally account for the aluminium packaging that is already being recovered, and will continue to be recovered, as new waste treatment plants come on stream. It is essential that we are able to officially account material towards the targets, as they do in every other country in Europe.” said Mr Hindley.
He went on to outline Alupro’s long-term vision for aluminium packaging recycling saying: “As an industry we have a shared vision to go beyond the 2017 targets and achieve a total recycling rate of 70% of aluminium packaging by 2020.
“Achieving our ambition will require us to develop strategic partnerships across the metal packaging sector, and with local authorities and waste management companies to boost performance of existing collection systems to ensure that over 80% of aluminium beverage cans in circulation are collected for recycling.”
He added: “For over 20 years this industry has led the year on year increases in aluminium’s recycling performance. Campaigns such as Every Can Counts and MetalMatters are testament to our on-going commitment.”
He concluded: “By developing strategic partnerships especially with local authorities and waste management companies, we are confident that we can achieve our goals.”