Alupro launches visionary roadmap to increase aerosol recycling

At this week’s BAMA Innovation Day (19 April, Royal Armouries, Leeds) Alupro officially launched its “Roadmap to increasing UK aerosol recycling” – a long-term strategic vision to drive a widespread uplift in national capture and recycling rates.

Developed on behalf of The UK Aerosol Recycling Initiative, a working group comprising partners from across the value chain, the document outlines five key challenges preventing higher aerosol recycling rates and details a proposed solution to tackle each head-on.

These include improving data quality through vigorous sampling of materials at MRFs, driving an uplift in kerbside volumes by establishing collection consistency, investing in new pathways to treat non-empty containers, increasing consumer education through standardised labelling, and improving the overall design of aerosol containers to optimise the value in recycled materials.

In addition, the roadmap also presents the results of extensive consumer research, analysis from local authorities and in-depth interviews with key industry experts, with the aim of clarifying best practice to maximise capture rates in a post-EPR, post-DRS landscape. Available to download from the Alupro website, the report aims to inspire sustained collaboration between government and the wider supply chain.

Tom Giddings, executive director at Alupro, commented: “Launching our roadmap comes as part of The UK Aerosol Recycling Initiative’s continued work to improve consumer education, identify solutions to maximise recycling rates and secure long-term investment into further improving national recycling infrastructure. Our simple goal is to see aerosols become a central part of recycling behaviour in the waste management landscape of tomorrow.

“Alongside presenting first-to-market research, we’ve proposed a series of five major priorities that will prove pivotal to increasing aerosol recycling rates. There are some clear obstacles, but also simple solutions that will help us – as an industry – to overcome them.

“To maximise momentum, we’ve shared the roadmap with key government figures, as well as the wider industry. As a group, we have big plans for the future and continue to welcome new partners who share our ambitions.”

Download a copy of the summary report “Roadmap to increasing UK aerosol recycling” here. For more information about the UK Aerosol Recycling Initiative, visit:


Alupro calls for government action to secure an aluminium-friendly DRS

Earlier this week (11 April), the 29 members of Alupro sent a joint letter to Thérèse Coffey MP, Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, calling for immediate government action in order to ensure that a deposit return scheme (DRS) across England, Wales and Northern Ireland further enhances aluminium recycling rates without compromising the market.

A not-for-profit organisation with more than 30 years’ experience representing the UK’s aluminium packaging industry supply chain, Alupro represents businesses who work to fulfil the industry’s obligation to meet, and exceed, recycling targets for aluminium packaging. As an infinitely recyclable material, aluminium beverage can recycling rates hit a record-breaking 82% in 2021.

The organisation is clear in its view that any new legislation must be well designed to avoid the market being damaged for the most circular packaging materials.

Set to be implemented in October 2025, the implementation of a DRS will see a deposit added to the price of a beverage product in store, which will then be refunded to the customer when empty packaging is returned to a designated collection point. Alupro has been concerned that the DRS being implemented in Scotland will damage the market for aluminium and incentivise the purchase of more large-volume PET bottles, hoping that the proposals for the rest of the UK will avoid these pitfalls.

However, following the government’s recent consultation response, members remain concerned and are adamant that immediate action and collaborative thinking are needed to ensure any DRS is fair, equitable and effective.

Tom Giddings, executive director of Alupro, commented: “From an aluminium perspective, whilst we welcome the publication of the government’s response, we were disappointed by several elements of it – particularly the decision to exclude glass bottles despite widespread support for a scheme including them evident from the government’s own analysis of consultation responses. A DRS is already a challenging initiative to implement effectively without compromising market growth and dynamics, and this decision in particular accentuates the situation. Additionally we urge the government to publish their impact assessment urgently to allow proper scrutiny of the decisions taken to date.

“As such, we have outlined four key priorities which must be implemented  in the next stage of the scheme’s development to ensure it supports the thriving aluminium packaging and recycling sector.

“Firstly, a variable rate of deposit based on container volume is essential for a successful DRS that maximises environmental impact and minimises economic harm for industry. They are used in the most successful schemes globally and prevent the perverse incentive for consumers to buy more plastic bottles.

“Secondly, there must be a fair and level playing field for all competing materials. Indeed, while the decision has already been made to exclude glass beverage containers from the scope of DRS, they should still be subject to equal collection and recycling targets under the EPR system.

“Thirdly, it’s imperative that DRS promotes the development of a circular economy by facilitating the recycling of packaging. When it comes to infinitely recyclable aluminium, for example, material collected through the scheme should be returned to the packaging system– as is the case currently.

“Finally, encouraging widespread consumer participation will prove crucial to maximising recycling rates. From our experience over the past 30 years, we’ve seen that well-designed and engaging programmes like Every Can Counts have been essential to achieving high recycling rates. Programmes like this can ensure recycling ambitions are realised by educating consumers on the importance of recycling properly. Government should ask applicants for the scheme administrator role to clearly demonstrate their approach to promoting the scheme and working with providers like Alupro who can share their expertise.”

Representing the views of the aluminium packaging sector, Alupro and its members seek a DRS that is not only fair and equitable but doesn’t jeopardise what is a well-functioning existing recycling system for aluminium beverage containers.

For more information about Alupro, or its extensive research into developing a well-designed DRS, visit To read the letter to Thérèse Coffey MP in full, visit



Budding York artist wins school recycling competition

A pupil from Osbaldwick Primary Academy is celebrating, after winning a creative art competition organised by the Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation (Alupro).

Launched in November in partnership with City of York Council, the initiative aimed to raise awareness of the importance of recycling among primary-aged pupils. With the Council having recently expanded kerbside recycling collections to include aluminium foil, the competition challenged budding artists to create an A4 poster incorporating used foil as an art material.

Esme Dumont won first place, having impressed the judges with her creative design. Alongside taking home a £50 cash prize, her school receives £500 in vouchers to spend on sustainable art supplies and activities.

Tom Giddings, executive director of Alupro, commented: “As the voice of the UK aluminium packaging industry, we’re committed to increasing national recycling rates. Working closely with local authorities provides us with a great opportunity to encourage resident engagement.

“With York having expanded kerbside collections to include aluminium foil, it seemed the perfect opportunity to do something different to celebrate, while simultaneously helping to educate the next generation about the importance of sustainability. Esme’s design delivered on the brief perfectly, while also sending out a clear message about recycling aluminium foil.”

Ben Grabham, Head of Environmental Services at City of York Council, added: “I’d like to personally thank all of the students who took part in the competition, sharing their posters and learning more about recycling. This competition to raise awareness of what can be recycled at the kerbside is just the latest step in our work to expand and improve recycling and waste services across York.

“We know residents are already doing a fantastic job of recycling in York, with around 43 percent of all waste being either reused, recycled or composted. The addition of foil to kerbside collections will help us further boost our recycling rates and continue our work to make York more sustainable.”

For more information about recent changes to waste services across York, visit