MetalMatters, the metal packaging industry’s kerbside recycling improvement programme, has followed up its initial promise and delivered unprecedented success in 2012. The programme reached nearly two million households across 31 local authorities and significantly increased the metals capture rate in each campaign. Read more
Alupro’s Executive Director Rick Hindley reflects on some of the high points of 2012, and identifies some priorities for 2013:
It’s mid-way through January and 2013 is already shaping up to be another busy year for Alupro. Although there’s plenty in the pipeline it is perhaps appropriate to reflect on just some of the highlights of 2012 first.
- In March 2012 we celebrated the third anniversary of the Every Can Counts programme with the news that the programme had helped to collect 51 million used beverage cans from workplaces and ‘on the go’ locations across the UK in 2011. That’s 774 tonnes of aluminium and steel collected and around 5,800 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions saved.
- In May we welcomed the three major household foil suppliers to the UK as Alupro members. We are now working with BacoFoil brand owner Wrap Film Systems, Netherlands-based foil and film supplier ITS and retail and catering foil supplier Wrapex to help them promote the 100% recyclability of household foil.
- June saw Defra release figures that confirmed aluminium packaging recycling rates had hit a record high with the UK achieving the single biggest annual increase in recycling rates for aluminium packaging and drinks cans since records began. The recycling rate for drinks cans now stands at 60%, and for all aluminium packaging it is 42%.
- Launched in September, the Alu D&T Challenge is a free teaching resource offering a new engaging way to get students excited about sustainable Design and Technology. The challenge winners will be announced later this month.
- In October, leading aerosol manufacturer Unilever pledged its support for MetalMatters, joining the innovative metal recycling programme as a funding partner. 2012 was an exciting year for MetalMatters, with five campaigns launching over the year covering 27 local authorities and reaching 1.5 million households.
MetalMatters has been built upon the solid foundations laid by the Aerofoil campaign which encouraged local authorities to expand kerbside recycling collections to include foil trays and/or aerosols. The two year programme saw 98 local authorities (covering 5.8 million households) expand their collection systems and helped us to move foil containers into the ‘widely recycled’ category under the On Pack Recycling Labelling (OPRL) scheme.
So what does 2013 have in store? Driving up capture rates for aluminium, and all metal, packaging remains a priority. Householders need to be reminded, and reassured, that when the recycle they are doing the ‘right thing’ and their actions will make a difference. Over the year we’ll be adding a range of new materials to our Media Library to help local authorities provide that information and encouragement.
And together with our programme partners from throughout the metal packaging industry we will continue to focus on driving up recycling at home and on the go. Our successes to date show that partnerships work, and we are keen to ensure all our programmes are truly representative of our industry and deliver real value for all. We are keen that the waste management sector becomes more actively involved in our programmes, so welcome the recent involvement of partners in that sector in MetalMatters.
On behalf of its members Alupro will continue to engage with Governments in London, Edinburgh and Cardiff to ensure packaging and recycling strategies deliver value, and the carbon benefits of recycling aluminium are realised. With our eyes firmly focused on the industry’s target of achieving a 70% recycling rate for all aluminium packaging by 2020 there is plenty of work to do, and at Alupro we’re ready for the challenge!
More details of our 2012 projects can be found in our Annual Report, if you would like a copy sent to you please contact us.
Don’t forget – for up to the minute news you can also follow us on Twitter (@AluproUK) and sign up to receive our news updates.
We have just tweaked the Alupro website, and now seems like the perfect time to do it. Why? Because the run-up to Christmas is a great time to remind everyone to recycle their aluminium packaging.
Whether it’s because it’s easy to use foil trays for party food and trimmings for the festive feast, extra drinks cans for the Christmas party or aerosols of hair spray for perfecting your party hairdo, we use more aluminium packaging at Christmas than at any other time of the year. For example, we use around 3,000 tonnes of foil just cooking our turkeys each year. If it were all recycled it would save 27,000 of greenhouse gas emissions, the equivalent of taking 55,000 cars off the road. That’s before you start counting the estimated 850 million foil trays for mince pies and a 20% increase in the sales of drinks cans for festive celebrations.
Thankfully it is getting easier to recycle more of this packaging at home. Most local authorities now collect food and drink cans as part of their kerbside recycling service, and an increasing number include aerosols, foil tray and household wrapping foil in those collections too. Alupro has worked with local authorities and businesses up and down the UK this year helping them to promote metal packaging recycling, and with the challenge of increasing recycling targets ahead we will be maintaining this focus, and developing new campaigns to keep the message fresh into 2013 and beyond.
It’s because of the changing nature of recycling that we have redeveloped our website – it’s easier for us to amend and update. That means we can share information with the people who need to know, and are interested in what we do much more quickly, something we have wanted to do for a long time. For up to the minute news you can also follow us on Twitter (@AluproUK) and sign up to receive our news updates, a service we will be launching next year.
So there is plenty to look forward to for next year, but for now all that remains is to wish you all a happy Christmas and prosperous New Year.
The Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation (Alupro) are inviting cycling fans to join in the ‘Recycle Race’ activity and make Every Can Count whilst cheering on elite cyclists from the world’s top teams competing in the OVO Energy Women’s Tour from 7-11 June www.womenstour.co.uk
National recycling programme, Every Can Counts is an “official partner” of the race and a lead sponsor of participating cycling team, Drops Cycling. The aim of the partnership is to deliver the recycling message to a new audience and to encourage people to recycle drinks cans when they are ‘on the go’ outside the home.
On race days, spectators are invited along to the Every Can Counts stand, in the ‘Promo Zone’ to combine their cycling and recycling skills in ‘The Recycle Race.’ This interactive game uses pedal power to move used cans around a recycling loop track. Participants can race against family and friends, with the opportunity to win prizes including a bike made from 850 recycled cans.
The game promotes the message that the drinks can you recycle today could be recycled into a new can in 60 days – or even a new racing bike – and that aluminium is endlessly recyclable.
The Every Can Counts stand will be in the promo zone at all five stages of the Women’s Tour from 7th-11 June as follows:
Stage 1: Wednesday 7th June, Daventry to Kettering, Stand at High Street, Kettering
Stage 2: Thursday 8th June, Stoke-On-Trent, Stand at Tontine Street, Stoke-on-Trent
Stage 3: Friday 9th June, Atherstone to Royal Leamington Spa, Stand at Parade, Leamington Spa
Stage 4: Saturday 10th June, Chesterfield, Stand at Market Place, Chesterfield
Stage 5: Sunday 11 June, London, Stand at Trafalgar Square, London
Every Can Counts, a programme run by Alupro, is supported by drink can manufacturers, drinks companies and the recycling industry. The programme aims to enable and encourage drinks can recycling in all environments. This includes workplaces, universities and colleges, events such as music festivals – or when watching a cycling race!
Every Can Counts has been running since 2009 and has 2,500 sites using the programme with over 13,500 collections points across the UK.
Executive Director of Alupro, Rick Hindley said: “We are really excited by our new partnerships with Drops Cycling and the Women’s Tour. Cycling is the fastest growing mass participation sport in the UK and this provides us with the opportunity to communicate our messages to a new and rapidly growing audience. We have already taken ur cycling game to four major cycling events this year and encouraging thousands of race goers to “make their cans count” in a fun and engaging way!”
The Women’s Tour is a part of the UCI Women’s World Tour, comprising 20 events around the world in 10 different countries.
The Drops Cycling Team has had some fantastic results recently, including winning both the individual and team races at the recent Tour Series cycling events in May.
For further information about the ‘Recycle Race’ visit www.everycancounts.co.uk
Notes to Editors
For further information please contact Every Can Counts on 01527 597757 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
About Every Can Counts
Every Can Counts is a partnership between the European and UK drinks can manufacturers, and the aluminium recycling industry and leading drinks brands. It is supported by the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP). It aims to enable and encourage more people to recycle the drinks cans they use outside the home. For more information visit http://www.everycancounts.co.uk/what-we-do/
You can also follow Every Can Counts on Facebook and Twitter