The Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation Ireland

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.

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