The manifesto was launched at an exclusive virtual roundtable on 23 March, with speeches from Neil Parish MP, chair of the EFRA committee, and Ruth Jones, MP, Shadow Minister (EFA). The event brought together leading parliamentary groups to discuss the national transition towards a circular economy.
Alongside explaining why close collaboration between industry actors and the government is needed to deliver a world-class recycling system, the manifesto voices the opinions of the supply chain and explains aluminium’s central role in the sustainable packaging industry of tomorrow. Aiming to help the UK exceed aluminium recycling targets, achieve true resource circularity and harness legislative opportunities, the manifesto outlines seven key asks:
- That used aluminium packaging is consistently collected for recycling wherever possible;
- That ambitious 'on-the-go' recycling infrastructure is implemented to prevent the landfilling or littering of recyclable material;
- That government and industry must collaborate to educate consumers about best practice aluminium recycling;
- That a well-designed deposit return scheme, with a variable deposit fee, is implemented to promote the high collection and recycling of beverage containers;
- That a well-designed extended producer responsibility system is implemented that incentivises the use, and value, of infinitely recyclable aluminium;
- That the government must support the deployment of proven technologies to facilitate the widespread recycling of aluminium packaging;
- That recyclable products recovered from incinerator bottom ash are accounted for in recycling rates.
“Aluminium is infinitely recyclable and, therefore, plays a central role in the circular economy of tomorrow,” said Tom Giddings, executive director of Alupro. “Indeed, nearly 75% of all aluminium ever produced worldwide is still in use today – a remarkable statistic.
“With the UK Government having set a target of eliminating all avoidable plastic waste by 2042 and aiming to work towards the use of only recyclable, reusable or compostable plastic packaging by 2025, the industry needs to embrace significant change. As a result, we anticipate more brands switching to sustainable packaging options – like aluminium.”
Having the right systems in place to maximise recycling rates is an important part of achieving these sustainability goals, Giddings noted.
Neil Parish MP, chair of the EFRA committee, said he welcomes Alupro’s Aluminium Manifesto, adding: “Recycling rates remain stagnant, and government needs to take a greater role in reducing unsustainable packaging and encouraging the move to a circular economy. Aluminium packaging, such as cans, which can be infinitely recycled and reused again, will be a central part of this.”