Aluminium beverage can recycling at new record high

More than 7 out of 10 aluminium beverage cans remain in the European Circular Economy

Brussels, 21 January 2016: The overall recycling rate for aluminium beverage cans in the European Union, Switzerland, Norway and Iceland increased by 1.8% to a new record level of 71.3% in 2013. European Aluminium considers this result an important milestone on its path towards its voluntary recycling target for used beverage cans of 80% by 2020.

From its first introduction more than 50 years ago, the aluminium beverage can has been an integral part of the Circular Economy. It is infinitely recyclable without loss of its properties and its value. This makes it the ideal packaging solution to help achieving the new ambitious EU recycling targets proposed for the years 2025 and even 2030.

Maarten Labberton, Director of the European Aluminium Packaging Group stresses the need for more efficient collection, sorting and recycling schemes in countries which less developed recycling infrastructure: ‘’These Member States can learn from best practices in the most advanced countries and should adapt these to their specific needs. Countries should improve existing producer responsibility schemes and move towards modern collection tools based on the scrap value of aluminium cans.”

Through its joint awareness programme with the can manufacturers, Every Can Counts, European Aluminium is successfully addressing the collection and recycling of so called “out of home’’ cans; cans consumed at the workplace, at festivals or other outdoor events. In 2015 Spain and Serbia joined Every Can Counts and more countries are expected to adopt this model in the near future.

On the whole European continent (including other East European countries, Russia and Turkey) more than 28 billion cans have been recycled. Their metal stays in the European circular economy and remains available for the production of new aluminium products.

These collected cans represent a total amount of 400,000 tonnes of recycled aluminium. Recycling aluminium saves up to 95% of the energy used or the greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) emitted to produce primary aluminium. This means that European aluminium can recycling avoids 3.2 million tonnes of GHG, which is equivalent to the yearly emissions of the population of cities such as Bilbao, Cardiff, Lublin or Nice.

Together with its partners in Metal Packaging Europe (MPE), European Aluminium agreed to have its annual aluminium
beverage can recycling data reviewed by Eunomia, an independent consultancy group. Their report will be available as
of next week on the European Aluminium Website.

About European Aluminium:
European Aluminium, founded in 1981 and based in Brussels, is the voice of the aluminium industry in Europe. We actively engage with decision makers and the wider stakeholder community to promote the outstanding properties of aluminium, secure growth and
optimise the contribution our metal can make to meeting Europe’s sustainability challenges. Through environmental and technical expertise, economic and statistical analysis, scientific research, education and sharing of best practices, public affairs and communication activities, European Aluminium promotes the use of aluminium as a material with permanent properties that is part of the solution to achieving sustainable goals, while maintaining and improving the image of the industry, of the material and of its applications among their stakeholders. Our 75 members include primary aluminium producers; downstream manufacturers of extruded, rolled and cast aluminium; producers of recycled aluminium and national aluminium associations, representing more than 600 plants in 30 European countries. Aluminium products are used in a wide range of markets, including automotive, transport, high – tech engineering, building, construction and packaging.

For further information, please contact:, +32 2 775 63 63


Alupro responds to the Government’s Consultation on Packaging Recycling Targets to 2017

Recycling Targets Must Rise

Commenting on the Government’s Consultation on recovery and recycling targets for packaging waste for 2013-2017, Rick Hindley, Alupro (Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation) executive director, said: “The consultation represents a chance to raise targets and maximise recycling performance for aluminium and all other packaging materials.

“The continuation of static targets will not help the aluminium packaging industry: new, more challenging recycling targets are needed to ensure we make the most of the aluminium and wider metal packaging industries’ investment which has under-pinned continued year on year improvements in recycling levels.

“The industry’s desire to maximise recycling performance is as strong as ever and industry-led programmes have already achieved some significant results. In 2010 Every Can Counts saw over 27 million drinks cans captured from workplaces around the UK for recycling while MetalMatters, the new programme managed by Alupro, is proven and has the potential to significantly improve kerbside recycling volumes by boosting capture rates for metal packaging and indeed other materials too.

“In addition, we welcome the significant proposal to bring the measurement of our recycling performance on to an equal footing with all other EU countries: aluminium used in composite or laminate packaging that cannot be mechanically separated for recycling, should not be counted as aluminium packaging as defined in the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive.

“The consultation represents a much needed chance to raise packaging recycling targets and we look forward to working with Government to maximise recycling performance.”