Aluminium packaging hit 68% recycling rate in 2023



The UK’s aluminium packaging recycling rate reached 68% in 2023 with a “record-breaking” 162,357 tonnes of aluminium being recycled nationally.

The annual figures were published on the National Packaging Waste Database by the Environment Agency.

Aluminium packaging collected through kerbside, and bring and on-the-go systems increased by 13% year-on-year, 115,382 compared to 102,195 in 2022.

Tonnage recovered from incinerator bottom ash (IBA) rose by 17%, 45,632 compared to 38,982.

Source: Alupro.

Commenting on the announcement, Tom Giddings, executive director of Alupro, said: “I’m delighted to announce record-breaking recycling volumes for 2023.

“While more aluminium packaging was placed on the domestic market than last year, it’s pleasing to see that recycling rates have more than kept up with pace.

“As an industry, we’ve been investing heavily in optimising our collection and recycling infrastructure for the past 20 years and we’re now reaping the rewards of this long-term commitment.

“Despite ongoing delays and uncertainty surrounding proposed changes to national recycling legislation, the sector is continuing to deliver over and above annual targets.

“Having robust national recycling systems in place is the icing on the cake, enabling used packaging to be recycled over and over again – the perfect circular economy.”

Chris Latham-Warde of Every Can Counts, Alupro’s communications programme aimed at driving drink can recycling, added: “Such an impressive recycling rate reflects ever-increasing public awareness about environmental issues and the widespread benefits of recycling.

“Over the past 12 months, Every Can Counts and MetalMatters have continued to engage with consumers across the UK and Ireland to inspire further progress when it comes to improving recycling rates at home and on the go.

“As we continue into 2024, we remain optimistic that the impact of these initiatives will help to further improve best practice recycling behaviours and drive collection figures even higher.”

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