Two million households encouraged to make Metals Matter

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

Q1 Figures show aluminium is on course for 2013 recycling target

recycling-schemeAlupro’s Executive Director Rick Hindley discusses the Q1 2013 PRN/PERN figures for Aluminium. Read more

Remembering to recycle that festive aluminium packaging!

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.

Alupro: Looking ahead to another busy year

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.

Winners announced for the 2016 Alu D&T Challenge

 Seventeen students from schools around the UK have been named as winners in the Alu D&T Challenge, a national competition for 11 to 14 year olds organised by the aluminium industry to inspire young designers to create sustainable products using aluminium.

Students and their teachers travelled to Birmingham to receive their prizes and meet the sponsors at a celebratory event at Thinktank Science Museum.

The national schools competition, linked to the Design and Technology curriculum, helps teach pupils about the material properties and sustainability potential of aluminium by challenging them to design a sustainable product for the future using aluminium. The design challenges are based on real-life briefs faced by designers, engineers and manufacturers in three categories – transport, building and packaging.  They form part of a wider package of cross-curricular teaching resources which have been developed by the aluminium industry to support teachers of pupils aged 7 to 14.

Judging took place in two stages, reducing over 200 entries to a final shortlist of 30; with the final winners chosen by a panel made up of senior figures from the aluminium industry, and specialists in engineering and architecture.

The winning individual and team in each of the three design challenges won a 3D printer for their school, plus £100 in vouchers for the pupils. Prizes were also awarded to runners up and finalists in each category.

The panel of judges agreed the 2016/17 winners were:

Vehicle of the future category:

  • Winner – individual: Alex Brown (Year 8) Oakham School, Leics.
  • Winner – team: Urmston Grammar School
  • Runner Up: Thomas Lemon, St. John’s School, Northwood.

Garden building for a creative homeworker category:

  • Winner – individual: Amy Riddlesdell, Oakham School
  • Winner –team: Urmston Grammar School
  • Runner up: Tobias Raphael, Crosfields School

Innovative new packaging solution category:

  • Winner – individual: Ethan Thorne, St. Ives School
  • Winner – team: Ysgol Glan-y-Mor
  • Runner up: Nick Wood, St Ives School

Speaking about the winning submissions at the prize-giving ceremony in Birmingham, Alu D&T Challenge judge and sponsor Andy Doran, of Novelis UK,  said:

“Meeting the winners of the competition is one of the highlights of my year! The enthusiasm and talent these young people show for designing products that will benefit society and protect our environment is so uplifting. Between them the winners demonstrated some really progressive ideas about designing sustainable products using aluminium, and I hope we have inspired some future engineers, designers and materials scientists who will make a difference to industry in the future.”

Alupro’s Marketing & Communications Manager, Diana Caldwell, said:

“Since we launched the competition at the start of the academic year over 300 teachers have registered online and downloaded our resources for use with over 25,000 students. The competition gives us an insight into what pupils have learnt about aluminium and the contribution it can make to sustainable lifestyle, but knowing that this message is also reaching a much wider audience in schools across the country is invaluable for our industry.”

Commenting on the value of the competition and its impact on students, Mrs Vanessa McSween from St. John’s School in Northwood, said: “All of our students enjoyed taking part and it was wonderful to have a winner!  I am delighted by the spotlight the aluminium industry shines on the subject of Design & Technology by making this link between school and industry. It highlights the importance of the subject with regard to futures in engineering as well as many other related fields. Being given this opportunity can be a definite ‘game changer’ in the future thinking of these pupils which is fantastic!”

Watch our film featuring the winners of the 2016 Alu D&T Challenge here

New ‘Leave Your Cap On’ campaigns extend coverage to over 2 million households

­­­­­­­­­­­­Alupro’s ‘Leave Your Cap On’ campaign, which encourages residents to recycle aluminium screw tops along with the glass bottles on which they came, has recently launched in four local authorities.  The latest campaigns, in Oxford and Berkshire, mean the number of bottle banks across the UK now promoting the recycling message has reached 5,443, taking the number of households reached by the message past 2 million. Read more

Mallorca’s recycling & recovery challenge delivers ‘circular’ success

European Aluminium’s annual Packaging Seminar, held each September, is always a highlight of the working year.  In addition to presentations and debate on latest developments in our sector the programme provides the host country with the opportunity to give an insight into their specific recycling and recovery challenges. It never fails to be informative and is often inspiring. Read more

Study reveals ‘real’ aluminium packaging recycling rate

Alupro study into ‘real’ recycling rate for aluminium packaging in 2015 reveals over 10,000 tonnes of unreported material.

Read more

Alu D&T Challenge: Winners announced!

Winners of the 2015/16 Alu D&T Challenge, a design competition for 11 to 14 year olds, were announced at a prize-giving event at Thinktank Science Museum in Birmingham on 24 February.

The national schools’ competition, linked to the Design and Technology curriculum at Key Stage 3, helps teach pupils about the material properties and sustainability potential of aluminium by challenging them to design a sustainable product for the future using aluminium. Read more

Alupro figures show aerosols and aluminium foil “widely” collected for recycling

New figures released by Alupro show 96% of councils in the UK are collecting aerosols and 86% are collecting aluminium foil for recycling.

mixed_foil_trays_filled01Over the past three years, the number of councils collecting aerosols has increased from 87% to 96%, providing almost complete coverage throughout the UK. Meanwhile, foil recycling has also seen a dramatic increase in collection, from just 35% of councils in 2007 to 86% today. Read more