UK lockdown drives increase in aluminium packaging recycling

Aluminium packaging recycling increased by 48% in May compared to the same period last year, according to Environment Agency (EA) data.

The figures show 17,066 tonnes of aluminium packaging were collected for recycling in May. According to the Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation UK (Alupro), with the lockdown resulting in a significant increase in the volume of aluminium packaging collected via kerbside services, the number of packaging recovery notes (PRNs) raised have “skyrocketed”.

Alupro said that over the past three months, 38,014 tonnes of aluminium packaging were collected for recycling nationwide, compared to just 25,986 in the same period last year. Rick Hindley, executive director at Alupro, said: “The UK’s PRN data for May shows a dramatic increase, both month-on-month and year-on-year, in aluminium packaging recycling rates.

“Alongside greater public awareness about the benefits of recycling and an increase in the number of companies – including incinerator bottom ash processors – accredited for reprocessing, impressive rates can be attributed to the COVID-19 lockdown and resulting increase in household recycling volumes.

“With PRNs already raised for more than 57,000 tonnes of aluminium packaging in 2020, the future looks hugely optimistic. If recycling rates continue to remain high and local authority collections continue to operate as normal, I am confident that we will once again surpass annual targets.”

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