Q3 data shows impressive uplift in aluminium packaging recycling

According to recent data published on the NPWD by the Environment Agency (EA), aluminium packaging recycling volumes in Q3 continued to increase – showing an impressive uplift compared to the same period in 2022.

During the three-month period (Jul-Sep), 48,135 tonnes of aluminium packaging were collected for recycling – a 21% increase year-on-year. Of this volume, 33,051 tonnes were recycled by consumers through kerbside, bring and on-the-go systems (an uplift of 15% YOY), while 12,950 were recovered from incinerator bottom ash (IBA), a 19% increase compared to Q3 2022. 

To date in 2023, 137,275 tonnes of aluminium packaging have been captured across the UK, representing a 17% increase compared to the same period last year (116,439). With 92% of the obligation already achieved (147,925), this puts us firmly on track to far exceed annual targets.

Tom Giddings, executive director of Alupro, commented: “It’s positive to see that the tonnage of aluminium packaging collected for recycling across the UK is rising steadily. While some industry critics had suggested that the high rates reported during the COVID-19 pandemic were just a short-term trend, it’s reassuring to see that impressive volumes and positive consumer recycling behaviours have continued.

“It’s also good to see that PRN prices have finally started to stabilise, following ongoing fluctuations, late data submissions and no end of unnecessary complications. Moving forward, more work needs to be done to ensure that the PRN price doesn’t drive material flow, as it arguably has done in recent years. Much like the rest of the industry, we’re hoping for a calm and peaceful 2024 from a PRN perspective!

“However, we mustn’t rest on our laurels when it comes to upward trending collection volumes. It’s of vital importance that organisations such as Alupro continue to bang the drum when it comes to consumer education. Through our awareness programmes, Every Can Counts and MetalMatters, we will continue to play a driving role in reminding households about the value of best practice recycling, while working towards our ambitious goal of a 100% recycling rate for aluminium packaging.

For more information about Alupro, visit www.alupro.org.uk. To access the National Packaging Waste Database, visit www.npwd.environment-agency.gov.uk.

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