Italy excels in Europe in recycling of aluminium packaging


In line with the principles of the new Circular Economy Action Plan of the European Green Deal, the Italian model for the management of packaging and aluminium packaging waste represents excellence in the EU landscape.

These are the results emerging from the annual meeting of CIAL (the Italian consortium responsible for the recovery and recycling of aluminium packaging) held on 12 May in Milan.

In Italy, in 2022, 73.6% of the aluminium packaging placed on the market was recycled and, with energy recovery, the total percentage of recovered material rises to 78%. The recycling rate of aluminium packaging has therefore already exceeded the targets for 2025 (50%) and 2030 (60%).

The selection of criteria for the management of the aluminium packaging supply chain ensures one of the most efficient cost-result ratios in Europe, creating an excellent model of social, economic and environmental sustainability, achieved also by involving institutions, businesses, operators, citizens and municipalities.

The efficiency of the Italian separate collection and recycling system is even more evident if considering the cross-section of the rate of aluminium beverage can recycling, which for 2022 was 91.6%, in line with that of countries with deposit-refund systems and higher than the average European recycling rate (73%).

“For aluminium packaging, ‘disposable’ is an almost outdated concept, while ‘use and recycle’ is increasingly widespread.  The ‘single-use’ concept, generically associated with the packaging sector, does not suit packaging made with aluminium, a material that is infinitely recyclable by nature,” declared Carmine Bruno Rea, president of CIAL.

“Aluminium is easy to recycle and in Italy, we do it well,” continued Rea.

“It is the ideal material for producing packaging (beverage cans, tins, aerosol cans, trays, coffee capsules, etc.) because it is light, malleable, resistant to impact and corrosion and because it guarantees a barrier effect against light, air, humidity and bacteria, in line with the standards required in the food and beverage sectors for long and safe food conservation,” concluded Rea.

“Aluminium packaging is increasingly consistent with the principles of Prevention and the socio-economic development models of the Green Economy.”

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