Members Bulletin February 2019
Alupro Policy Update
The long wait is finally over!
Last year the Government published its 25 Year Environment Plan (YEP), this was followed in December by the Resources and Waste Strategy. Both documents were hugely delayed.
For the Government’s policy on packaging recycling “the devil was always going to be in the detail”, so we had to wait for the detailed public consultation documents. Originally, they were due to be published in the autumn of 2018, this was pushed into December and they were finally published this week, Monday 18th February.
From an initial read of the 429 pages and 306 questions, the Government’s proposals look ambitious and will undoubtedly lead to radical changes to the packaging recycling regime in the UK. Importantly, they could provide significant opportunities for aluminium packaging.
Four consultations, all interlinked, have been launched:
- Reforming the UK packaging producer responsibility system
- Introducing a deposit return scheme (DRS) in England, Wales and Northern Ireland
- Consistency of household and business collections in England
- Plastic packaging tax
Whilst there is a huge amount of detail to be considered, it is clear that all the options being considered, if implemented, would result in a step change in recycling in the UK. But this will come with a huge additional cost burden for producers, so it goes without saying that they will require, and should get, more control over how the monies are spent.
Over the coming weeks, we will thoroughly review the proposals to draw conclusions as to which options work best for all aluminium packaging, to enable us to reap the benefits of having a valuable, infinitely recyclable material.
We will assess the proposals to identify any unintended consequences which may result; for example, would a DRS for cans jeopardise the recycling of aluminium aerosols and foil? We will commission several studies from expert consultants to ensure that we have a full evidence base to respond to the consultations, in order to protect the interests of our members.
There is obviously a huge amount of work to be done in the next 12 weeks, but rest assured we will be doing everything we can to ensure that the resulting policies fit with what our members need to ensure that the recycling of aluminium packaging is maximised. aluminium is the perfect material for the circular economy.
We will be urging members to respond to the consultations and in time will be producing template responses which can be used to tailor your own responses. We are also planning a member’s workshop, in conjunction with the Metal Packaging Manufacturers Association (MPMA) and UK Canmakers, on a date in April which will be confirmed shortly.
The consultations close on 13th May and the proposals will be implemented in 2023. There are likely to be several more rounds of consultation before the final shape of future policy is finalised.
We will of course be keeping members fully updated as the process develops, and any questions, do get in touch.
We are working with Barley Communications to develop a PR strategy that raises Alupro’s profile, demonstrates value to members and ultimately supports our prime objective of maximising recycling rates of aluminium packaging. Members were invited to complete an anonymous online survey so that Barley could gather insights, preferences for future focus, and opportunities for engagement.
The key insights were:
- Alupro’s thought leadership on industry issues was the most valuable communications activity to members’ business.
- Next highest rated was comment on industry issues, followed by MetalMatters (MM) and Every Can Counts (ECC).
- Alupro’s biggest communications successes are with trade and industry bodies.
- Members are often unaware of the work conducted by Alupro to communicate with consumers, and consideration could be given as to how to make this more effective.
- Government and policy makers were identified as the number one priority audience, consumers were second highest priority.
Our PR strategy will build on this feedback, to ensure that all we do delivers value to our members and protects the UK market for aluminium packaging by maximising recycling rates, and we’ll keep you posted on our progress.
- 27-28 February: Packaging Innovations, NEC, Birmingham. Rick will be speaking on day two on the Packaging News stage.
- 2 May: LARAC Scotland, Glasgow. We will be promoting MetalMatters and Every Can Counts to our Scottish local authority colleagues.
- 22-23 May: Letsrecycle Live event, Stoneleigh, Warwickshire. Alupro will be located in the ‘Materials Village’ area.
- 2 July: The Recycling Event, Ricoh Arena, Coventry. This new event is a collaboration between eight key industry bodies including Alupro.