Aluminium packaging recycling rates continue to increase

aluminium packaging

The amount of aluminium packaging recycled in Q2 of 2021 increased by 5% compared to the same period in 2020.

According to data released by the Environment Agency in July, 42,857 tonnes were collected compared to 40,903 tonnes the previous year.

So far in 2021, 84,704 tonnes have been collected in total (an increase of 7,650 tonnes compared to Jan-Jun 2020), including more than 59,000 tonnes from kerbside, bring and on-the-go systems (up 11%), as well as c.23,000 tonnes recovered from incinerator bottom ash (up 7%).

With a target of 66% and a carry-in of 8,326 tonnes, the sector is on track to once again surpass its collection goal and achieve a record-breaking recycling rate. Indeed, according to the Environment Agency data, 67% of the annual target has already been achieved.

Tom Giddings, general manager of Alupro, commented: “In 2020, the UK reached its highest ever rate for aluminium packaging recycling (68%*), including an impressive 82% for aluminium beverage cans. 

“With numerous national lockdowns, remote working and reduced commuting, home consumption increased significantly. This saw kerbside collection rates soar.

“It’s pleasing to see that, despite higher targets and a return to the workplace, the UK has maintained record-breaking rates. 

“Indeed, we’re over two-thirds of the way to achieving our 2021 target at only half way through the year!

“Such impressive figures can be attributed to greater public awareness about the benefits of aluminium recycling and positive action towards improving resource efficiency. 

“While it’s difficult to predict trends for the rest of the year, we are optimistic that collection tonnages will continue to prove positive. 

“As such, it’s important that we celebrate these successes, while maintaining focus on our goal of achieving close to 100% aluminium recycling across the UK.”

For more information about Alupro, or its MetalMatters and Every Can Counts behavioural change programmes, visit

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