Alupro announces winner of the Student Starpack Awards

Alupro, the aluminium packaging recycling organisation, has announced the winner of the highly esteemed Student Starpack Awards. Mauricio Rocktaeshel, from Loughborough University, took home first place in the Alupro-sponsored ‘sustainable aluminium personal grooming product & brand’ category, as well as the overall gold award.

Alongside the £500 cash prize, Mauricio also won a trip to the Crown Packaging Global Technology and R&D Centre in Wantage. Here, he will receive a behind the scenes tour of the facility’s brand packaging design and development operations.

As part of his submission, Mauricio created ‘OneElement’, a shaver brand designed to create zero waste. Both the manual razor and its stylish packaging, which doubles as a travel storage case, is made from premium quality 100% recycled aluminium.

Organised by the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3), the competition challenged university students to identify creative packaging solutions to problems set by leading brands. As part of the sponsorship agreement, Alupro tasked applicants to design a personal grooming product to highlight the sustainability, recyclability, and shelf appeal of aluminium.

Tom Giddings, general manager of Alupro, commented: “We were impressed by all of the competition entries this year, but Mauricio’s design really stood out to the judges. His product and packaging was really well thought out and surpassed the reusability and recyclability element of our brief. What’s more, the brand was strong, and the packaging was highly attractive – a clear demonstration of the shelf appeal of aluminium.

“Not only could we see this product manufactured and stocked by retail outlets, but it could also solve the environmental issue of plastic blister packaging associated with razors. Congratulations, Mauricio!”

Mauricio Rocktaeschel, winner of the Student Starpack Awards, commented: “I am very grateful for winning the award and for the amazing opportunity to visit the R&D centre of Crown packaging in Wantage. Aluminium is a fascinating and versatile material, so I chose the brief because I like its attributes and wanted to explore its manufacturing methods, limitations, and opportunities in packaging applications.

“The project was a lot of fun; I learned a lot and it definitely increased my interest in packaging design. Thank you for the great opportunity and thank you to my friends and tutor for their support.”

For more information about the Starpack awards, visit: www.iom3.org/starpack.

Alupro announces winner of national education campaign

Alupro, the aluminium packaging recycling organisation, has announced the winner of its national educational programme – Masters of Infinity. Sophie Mae Juguilon (10), from St. Michael’s Catholic Primary School in Ashford, took home first prize for her outstanding manga comic strip.

Alongside a brand-new iPad, Sophie Mae was presented with a £1,500 voucher for her school. In addition, pupils who made the shortlist have all received a certificate of achievement.

Opened in September 2020, the competition ran alongside Alupro’s highly-successful primary education programme. Encouraging schools nationwide to integrate recycling into the curriculum, the initiative saw teachers provided with an introductory video, interactive lesson about recycling and a series of ‘quests’ for pupils to complete.

The resources were downloaded more than 580 times across the UK and Ireland, with hundreds of entries received for the competition. A second competition is currently underway across schools in Wales, providing students with the opportunity to win a Nintendo Switch Lite and a £250 book voucher for their school.

Tom Giddings, interim general manager at Alupro, commented: “The standard of entries for our Masters of Infinity competition was exceptionally high. While it was difficult to pick out just one winner, Sophie Mae’s entry really stood out to us. Creative and imaginative, the submission included interesting facts and demonstrated detailed knowledge of the aluminium packaging recycling process.

“Educating the next generation about the circular properties of aluminium is really important to the team here at Alupro and we are really pleased with how many schools and students have got involved. This has been our most successful educational campaign to date and we’re delighted with the support.”

For more information about Masters of Infinity or to download the free educational resources please visit www.learningaluminium.co.uk.

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Every Can Counts takes recycled rainbow art installation to Manchester

As part of a collaboration between Every Can Counts and Greater Manchester Combined Authority, a giant rainbow created from 2,500 recycled beverage cans has appeared in Piccadilly Gardens.

Installed in celebration of World Environment Day (Saturday 5th June), the four-metre-high art piece aims to tackle litter and promote the infinite recyclability of aluminium. The cans used to create the installation were supplied by Go Green, a charity initiative managed by the Emily Jordan Foundation providing meaningful day opportunities to people with learning disabilities and complex needs.

Forming part of the Every Can Counts European Recycling Tour, ambassadors with colourful recycling backpacks will be roaming Manchester city centre to spread the recycling message and collect cans. Activities and events organised by Every Can Counts will be simultaneously taking place in 19 locations across 15 countries (including France, Spain, Italy, Ireland and the Netherlands), aiming to combat littering by inspiring people to recycle their empty drink cans.

Chris Latham-Warde, Every Can Counts UK Programme Manager, commented: “As COVID-19 restrictions ease, more and more people are socialising outdoors and making the most of the summer weather. Unfortunately, littering in public spaces is becoming an increasingly serious problem as a result.

“Our eye-catching rainbow art installation aims to remind people about the many benefits of recycling. After all, drink cans can be recycled, filled and returned to the shop shelf in just 60 days – and this life cycle is never-ending, so long as we all do the right thing and recycle.”

Cllr Neil Emmott, GMCA Lead for the Green City-Region, said: “We hope this striking installation will capture people’s imagination and get them thinking not only about the scale of the waste challenge, but also the potential of recycling and the circular economy.

“Making sustainable choices and recycling correctly are small acts but, when taken together across our city-region, can make such a big difference to our environmental impact. I would encourage people to come along and learn more about the ways they can recycle effectively, helping to play their part in cutting litter and its harmful effects on our environment.”

The Every Can Counts rainbow archway will remain in place until Sunday 6th June. An ideal photo backdrop, Every Can Counts is running a social media photo competition offering the chance to win a £250 shopping voucher. To enter, take a snap of the rainbow and upload it to social media using #EveryCanCounts and tagging @EveryCanCountsUK (Instagram/Facebook) or @EveryCanCounts (Twitter).

Every Can Counts is a unique partnership formed between drink can manufacturers, drink can fillers and the wider recycling industry, all with the goal of reaching a 100% recycling rate for drink cans. To find out more information about Every Can Counts, visit www.everycancounts.co.uk.

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Alupro launches sustainability fact sheets to highlight circular properties of aluminium

Alupro, the aluminium packaging recycling organisation, has released a series of informative fact sheets outlining the benefits of aluminium packaging. Hosted on the Alupro website, the documents aim to provide packaging professionals, retailers, manufacturers and the wider supply chain with statistics and information about the material’s circular properties.

Covering a range of topics, including the recycling processes, collection rates, upcoming legislative changes and the carbon footprint of aluminium, the fact sheets are positioned as a valuable reference document to support design for recycling decision making.

Tom Giddings, interim general manager at Alupro, commented: “Sustainability, recyclability and resource efficiency are three key considerations analysed during the packaging design process. We wanted to create an easy way for packaging professionals to understand the superior properties of aluminium and access rigorous data to support their decision making.

“Infinitely recyclable, reformed endlessly and retaining its properties indefinitely, aluminium is a true sustainable success story. With exceptional properties and offering versatility for manufacturers, our ambition is to see aluminium used in an increasing percentage of packaging worldwide and always recycled in every market.”

To download your copy of the sustainability fact sheets, visit www.alupro.org.uk/sustainability. For more information about Alupro, or to become a member, visit www.alupro.org.uk/contact.

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Tom Giddings appointed Alupro’s interim General Manager

Alupro, the aluminium packaging recycling organisation, has announced the appointment of Tom Giddings as interim General Manager. Previously Sustainability and Public Affairs Manager, Tom succeeds industry stalwart Rick Hindley, who moves on to another senior role within the recycling sector.

Having joined Alupro in June 2020, Tom has firmly positioned himself as a driving force within the team. Prior to joining Alupro, he held the role of Sustainability Data and Reporting Manager at international packaging provider DS Smith, where he was responsible for the continuous improvement of sustainability initiatives, alongside group-wide data governance.

Tom is appointed the interim General Manager with immediate effect, as Rick leaves the business in May, and will be responsible for leading Alupro as it works to fulfil the industry’s obligation to meet, and exceed, recycling targets for aluminium packaging. He will act as the independent voice of the industry on issues of government policy and legislative development and will also spearhead Alupro’s Every Can Counts and MetalMatters consumer education programmes.

Tom commented: “In 2020, more aluminium packaging was collected for recycling than ever before. This is a clear reflection of changing consumer behaviours and increasing awareness of the benefits of recycling – providing a significant platform for the future to move ever-closer towards a 100% recycling rate. Taking on the role of interim General Manager at such a pivotal time for the industry is a hugely exciting opportunity.”

Derek Peden, Alupro’s Chairman, added: “I would like to extend my personal thanks to Rick who, backed by an excellent and dedicated team has driven forward the industry and played an instrumental role in truly revolutionising aluminium packaging recycling rates.

“We are sad to see Rick move on to new challenges but we are pleased to annouce Tom’s new role. Tenacious, ambitious and knowledgeable, we are confident that he will continue to build and improve on the foundations laid by Rick maintaining aluminium packaging at the forefront of sustainability – committed to further improving recycling rates nationwide.”

“Rick has been a tour de force, not just at Alupro, but within the recycling sector as a whole. He was involved in the initial inception of the organisation and has been a committed leader throughout his career in the alu packaging industry.

“During this period, the aluminium packaging recycling rate has been increased significantly – reaching its highest ever rate last year. As Rick moves on to an exciting new role within the recycling industry, I would like to take this opportunity to thank him for his hard work, dedication and inspiration as Alupro’s Executive Director.”

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UK aluminium beverage can recycling hits record-breaking 82% in 2020

Data published earlier this month by the Environment Agency (EA) reveals that aluminium beverage can recycling hit its highest ever rate in 2020 – an impressive 82%. This represents a year-on-year increase of 6% in a market that saw significant growth.

With the COVID-19 pandemic leading to a significant increase in at-home consumption, more aluminium packaging was collected and recycled than any year on record. Packaging Recovery Notes (PRNs) were issued for a total of 151,515 tonnes, an increase of 31% compared to 2019 figures (115,808 tonnes).

Breaking down these figures, 106,047 tonnes of separately collected aluminium packaging was recorded in 2020 (compared to 89,543 in 2019), while the volume recovered from incinerator bottom ash (IBA) increased from 26,265 (2019) to 45,468 (2020). Reassuringly, 86% of the collected aluminium packaging was recycled within Europe.

Compared to other packaging materials, many of which saw recycling rates increase year-on-year, aluminium reported by far the greatest rise. Exceeding 2020 business targets by a staggering 15% and realising a surplus of 36,845 tonnes, 2020 boasts the highest ever aluminium packaging recycling rate.

Rick Hindley, executive director at Alupro, commented: “In a year where aluminium packaging sales figures rose significantly, announcing record-breaking recycling rates – in particular an aluminium beverage can rate reaching 82% – is excellent news indeed.

“A sharp increase in the volume of separately collected aluminium packaging recovered at the kerbside is a clear reflection of changing consumer behaviours and increasing awareness of the benefits of recycling, while the rise in the volume of aluminium recovered from IBA can be attributed to a number of new companies approved to issue PRNs and the commissioning of several new UK energy recovery facilities.

“Looking forward to the next 12 months, which sees the annual target for aluminium packaging recycling increase to 66% and a carry-in of 8,326 tonnes, it’s too early to predict how volumes will change. Figures for the first three months of  2021 suggest that aluminium packaging collection rates have continued to grow. However, with lockdown restrictions now easing and more packaging consumed on-the-go, it’s imperative that we maintain best practice recycling practices – whether inside or outside of the home.”

To access the 2020 recycling rates, visit the Environment Agency’s National Packaging Waste Database (NPWD) here.

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  • National Packaging Waste Data (NPWD) reports 2020 sales based on 2019 actual volumes. Rather than using 2019 production/sales volumes (as reported on NPWD) to determine the aluminium packaging recycling rate, the figure referenced in the text above (68%) uses predictive data for 2020 to provide a more accurate calculation. If 2019 production/sales volumes were used, the aluminium packaging recycling rate for 2020 would be 71%.
  • The drinks can recycling rate is calculated based on sales data reported confidentially by drinks can manufacturers.

DRS consultation launch

In March, ministers launched a fresh consultation regarding the introduction of a Deposit Return Scheme in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. With the industry and campaigners still split on how the system should work, Rick Hindley, executive director at Alupro, provided the following comment:

“Aiming to tackle plastic pollution, increase recycling rates, improve recyclate quality and minimise litter, England, Wales and Northern Ireland’s Deposit Return Scheme (DRS) is set to be rolled-out over the next few years. However, the unique market dynamics of the UK mean that simply ‘importing’ a DRS scheme from other countries is not guaranteed to deliver success. As such, adopting best practice design and taking all available insight into consideration will prove pivotal.

“In January, we released a comprehensive report, developed in partnership with independent think-tank London Economics, to analyse the implications of implementing a flat rate versus a variable rate deposit fee. The findings were clear – a flat rate DRS would result in 10% lower return rates for the first two years for all containers, plastic would further dominate the beverage packaging on supermarket shelves and the UK’s thriving aluminium industry, which employs more than 20,000 workers nationwide, would be faced with the real possibility of plant closures.

“Conversely, a variable rate fee would see the government achieve its 90% return rate target almost a year earlier, leading to a higher recycling rate and less litter on the streets – in essence, the best solution by far from an environmental and economic perspective. While there have been suggestions that a variable rate would be far too complex for shoppers, recent research disproves this view, with consumers overwhelmingly supporting higher deposits for larger containers.

“As consultations commence, it’s imperative that the government takes the valuable views of consumers and the packaging industry into close consideration when discussing introduction and implementation. Failure to do so could prove disastrous.”

 

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Brits back best practice DRS scheme design, finds YouGov research

  • New research disproves claims that a variable rate DRS would be too complex
  • 85% of respondents considered a variable rate system ‘easy to understand’
  • 61% of respondents support higher deposits for larger containers

New research released earlier today (17 March) disproves the claim that a variable rate deposit return scheme (DRS) would be too complex for consumers. The YouGov insight suggests that 85% of Brits consider a variable system easy to understand and support higher deposits for larger containers.

Commissioned by Alupro, the aluminium packaging recycling organisation, 2,000 adults across Britain were surveyed about best practice DRS design and whether a variable rate deposit fee would add unnecessary confusion.

The results firmly rebutted this view, with more than four in five respondents suggesting that the concept of a DRS was easy to grasp (84%), and that the idea of varying the deposit value based on container size was equally simplistic (85%). Just over half of adults (55%) agreed that the deposit fee should be lower for smaller items and higher for larger ones, while three in ten (30%) thought the deposit amount should be the same across all sizes of packaging. Only a small minority admitted that they were undecided (15%).

These findings contradict government research from 2019, which suggested that a variable rate would be far too complex for householders.* Public understanding of deposit return schemes has changed significantly and appreciation of best practice design has fast become a discussion point.

Rick Hindley, executive director at Alupro, commented: “Adopting best practice design from the outset will prove pivotal to the long-term success of England, Wales and Northern Ireland’s deposit return scheme.

“Our independent research aimed to analyse real-world views regarding awareness of DRS design and understanding of deposit fees. According to the results, it’s safe to say that now, more than ever, householders want the best solution for the future – not the cheapest or the fastest.

“As the government discusses the design of our national scheme, we implore senior decision makers to take these findings into close consideration and not to choose simplicity over sustainability. The success of the scheme is important for every household, so we’re calling for their views to be recognised.”

Timiko Cranwell, Legal and Corporate Affairs Director at Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I, added: “Budweiser Brewing Group is committed to promoting circular packaging and responsible consumption. We believe that a variable rate deposit level is the foundation of a well-designed DRS, as it allows individuals to manage their own consumption, without incentivising the purchase of larger containers, or higher alcohol content, in the interest of saving money.”

Aiming to tackle plastic pollution, increase recycling rates, improve recyclate quality and minimise litter, England, Wales and Northern Ireland’s long-awaited DRS is expected to come into force in 2023. The scheme will see a deposit value added to the price of a beverage product in store, which will be refunded to the customer when empty packaging is returned to a designated collection point.

While a variable rate fee would see containers allocated with a deposit value based on container size, a flat rate model would apply a fixed fee to all beverage containers. This unsophisticated approach could see customers charged an additional £4.80 for a 24-can multipack (on top of product purchase price) compared to just 80p for a 2 litre plastic bottle.

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*http://randd.defra.gov.uk/Default.aspx?Menu=Menu&Module=More&Location=None&ProjectID=20253&FromSearch=Y&Publisher=1&SearchText=deposit&GridPage=2&SortString=ProjectCode&SortOrder=Asc&Paging=10#Description

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2001 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 18th – 19th February 2021. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

Alupro launches free Welsh language resources for primary school pupils

Alupro, the aluminium packaging recycling organisation, has announced the roll-out of its successful education programme to primary schools across Wales. Classrooms nationwide are invited to participate in the initiative, which aims to educate students about the benefits of recycling.

The manga-themed Key Stage 2 (KS2) programme introduces pupils to heroine ‘Ally Minium’ and her warriors who together embark on a mission to defeat evil ‘Land Phil’, who is threatening to take over the planet. A fun introductory video leads to an exciting interactive lesson with pupils becoming ‘Masters of Infinity’. There’s also a fantastic competition giving pupils the chance of winning a Nintendo Switch Lite and a £250 book voucher for their school.

The education programme has a general recycling theme with a focus on the importance of aluminium packaging recycling. Designed to inspire a long-term commitment to recycling for pupils and parents alike. The free resources can be taught in the classroom or at home.

Rick Hindley, Executive Director at Alupro, commented: “We’re extremely proud to play our part in educating the next generation about the circular properties of aluminium packaging. At Alupro, we thoroughly enjoy working with pupils to increase awareness and encourage behavioural change, which they can take home to their families.”

So far, the English language version of the resources have been downloaded more than 580 times across the UK and Ireland. Rick added: “We’ve been really impressed with the competition entries to date. We’ve now launched a second competition specifically for Schools in Wales and we’re really looking forward to seeing the additional entries and the exciting adventures students create. Good luck to everyone who participates!”

For more information, or to download the educational resources, visit: https://learningaluminium.co.uk/masters-of-inifinity/.

Alupro launches new website to educate consumers about the importance of recycling

Alupro, the aluminium packaging recycling organisation, has unveiled its brand-new Recycle Aluminium website, to educate consumers about the infinitely recyclable benefits of aluminium packaging. Working to fulfil the industry’s obligation to meet recycling targets, the site is an educational hub, featuring the latest data, how-to guides, blog posts, videos, fact sheets and more.

In the UK alone, more than 12 billion items of aluminium packaging are sold every year – from beverage cans and foil trays, to cooking foil, aerosol containers, caps and closures. Harnessing the circular properties of aluminium, Alupro aims to educate consumers about the benefits of recycling.

However, while 56% of the UK’s aluminium was recycled in 2019, we still have a way to go to achieve our target of 100%. Education and information is key to further improving recycling rates and the new website aims to inspire, inform and encourage national behavioural change.

Rick Hindley, executive director at Alupro, commented: “Last year, more aluminium packaging was collected for reprocessing than ever before. At Alupro, we are striving to achieve our vision of  a recycling rate close to 100%, with information and education playing a pivotal role. Our new website will not only provide valuable information to consumers, but also encourage households to make better and more informed decisions when it comes to disposing of their valuable aluminium packaging.

“With a whole host of useful advice articles, blogs, videos and fact sheets, each explaining how, when and why we should recycle, we hope it will prove a valuable resource.”

Consumers are encouraged to view the new website here – https://recyclealuminium.org.uk/ . For more information about Alupro, visit www.alupro.org.uk.

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