A new report highlights the UK’s low rates of aluminium foil packaging recycling rates. Government reforms could drastically speed this up in the future.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: ciwm-journal.co.uk

A new report has shined a light on the potential impact government reforms could have on aluminum waste!

A new report out today has stated that despite aluminium packaging being one of the most well used household packaging materials, half of it still does not get recycled.

The report titled ‘closing the loop: 4 steps towards 100% aluminium foil packaging recycling’ was conducted by the Green Alliance who make it clear that reforms could potentially mean all aluminum waste is recovered and recycled.

It comes at an interesting time when Michael Gove is overhauling the UK recycling system. With the focus being mainly on plastic packaging the findings about aluminum are very thought provoking.

In fact the Green Alliance has stated that this reviewing of the recycling system is a rare opportunity. They see it as a chance to change it from the top down and introduce something that works for consumer, business and the environment alike.

One of the most standout statistics in the report relates to building on the already proposed plastic packaging recycling reforms. It states that if aluminium packaging waste is included it could cut this from the 49% today to a mere 3% when fully implemented.

In the UK during 2017 we recycled nearly 51% of aluminium packaging materials including drink cans which by itself was a 73% recycling rate.

The 73% is considered a big success! Despite this though it still means over £50 million worth of aluminium packaging is being wasted each year.

Over £20 million was made up by liquid packaging & drink cans alone with the rest comprising of more specialist areas like aluminium laminated packaging pouches for storage use.

Interestingly the research stated that in order to preserve quality and value aluminium must be extracted from the general waste management system.

The more it is contaminated by other materials the more expensive it is to process it.

It is possible to recycle aluminium packaging materials many times over without the loss of quality. This should be greatly encouraged as mining and extraction of original raw materials is becoming ever more expensive, energy intensive and wasteful.

Aluminium packaging recycling can minimize these costs.

Indeed it seems like a sure route to a greener UK!