Alupro has welcomed the Courtauld Commitment first year progress report, published by WRAP, but says that alongside increasing resource efficiency, a determined drive to realise the value of waste and increase packaging recycling rates is required for Phase 2 of the Commitment to be fully successful in reducing the environmental impact. It also calls on the Courtauld signatories to get behind industry-led recycling programmes, which are also having a positive impact on recycling performance.
It is encouraging to note the good progress made towards the Courtauld Commitment’s packaging target; the reduction of 5.1% (295,000 tonnes CO2 eq.) in greenhouse gas emissions associated with primary and single-use packaging in 2010 is welcome news.
However, although this means the agreement’s partners have achieved 51% of the overall target of the Phase 2 Commitment in the first year, this apparent success is undermined by a fall in the proportion of packaging recycled from 61.8% in 2009 to 60.7% in 2010.
This fall in the packaging recycling rate illustrates how important it is to continue communicating the value of waste. For those waste streams where we know the awareness of this value is increasing, we have seen corresponding increases in recycling rates. For metal packaging, where end of life recycling rate is the acknowledged metric to measure environmental performance/improvement within Courtauld, this is particularly significant.
The recycling rate for aluminium packaging has increased steadily since 2008; In 2011, we have already seen a 30% increase in collection volumes up to the end of quarter 3 compared to the same period in 2010; this would suggest that we will see a significant increase in aluminium recycling performance for 2011.
Recycling programmes such as Every Can Counts, Aerofoil and MetalMatters have been developed, and are funded, by the metal packaging industry, along with some leading brand owners. All have contributed to ensure this increase in recycling rates has matched record sales of metal packaging over the last two years, and Every Can Counts and MetalMatters will continue to expand and deliver in 2012.
Key to the on-going success of all these programmes is ensuring that they are representative of the metal packaging sector, and all represent an effective means through which a business can demonstrate extended Producer Responsibility. Alupro therefore calls on Courtauld signatories to engage with the industry’s programmes. By working in partnership across the packaging supply chain, we can increase the awareness of the value of waste and make significant increases to the recycling rate for all packaging materials.
Ultimately, the Courtauld Commitment is not simply about meeting targets, it’s about doing the right thing for your business, your customers and the environment