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Study Reveals 10,000 Tonnes of Unreported Aluminium Packaging Recycling

Research into the amount of aluminium packaging reprocessed or exported by the UK in 2015 has revealed over 10,000 tonnes of unreported material.

The study, commissioned by the Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation (Alupro), and undertaken by independent environmental consultancy, Resource Futures, was completed to determine how much aluminium packaging is reprocessed or exported.

According to packaging waste recovery data released by the Environment Agency last month, the “business” recycling rate for all aluminium packaging exceeded its 2015 target, reaching 76,027 tonnes. This means the national recycling rate for all aluminium packaging now stands at 55 per cent and the estimated recycling rate for aluminium drinks cans has reached 69 per cent. However, Alupro claims the figures could be even higher.

The research by Alupro found that beyond the recycling reported by reprocessors/exporters accredited to issue packaging recycling notes (PRNs), at least 10,000 tonnes of qualifying used aluminium packaging did not go through the PRN system in 2015. This means that an estimated 86,200 tonnes was actually collected for recycling, equating to an overall 55 per cent recycling rate for 2015.

The ‘real’ 2015 recycling rates are based on the methodology outlined in the EU’s Circular Economy package proposals. This removes the aluminium where, by weight it forms a minor part of laminate and composite packaging, from the total aluminium put on the market.

Executive Director of Alupro, Rick Hindley, said of the findings: “Our research clearly demonstrates the need to encourage more reprocessors to become accredited to ensure that the PRN system provides an accurate record of recycling performance. It sets a clear benchmark for our sector and we will use our findings to focus on what needs to be done to meet the ambitious new material recovery targets proposed under the EU Circular Economy package.  It is also vital that the measurement system we use in the UK for calculating recycling performance is aligned to the methodology used throughout Europe.”

Clarity has been buying and selling packaging recovery notes (PRNs) since our business started in 2002. We are now one of the largest and most experienced open market traders of PRNs. To talk to our team about buying or selling any grade of packaging recovery note (PRN), contact us on 0845 129 7177.

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