JULY 2010

European aluminum can recycling hits 63 percent

Aluminum can recycling has increased to 63 percent across the EU27, data from the European Aluminum Association (EAA) announced.

Recycling in Europe hits 63 percent.

The recycling rate for aluminum cans has risen to 61.8 percent in 2007 and reached 63.1 percent in 2009.

Germany recycles the most cans, with a rate of 96 percent by using the Green Dot scheme, which means the product manufacturer contributes to the cost of recovery and recycling.

The UK has a recycling rate of 51 percent, ranking 13th in the EU27. Meanwhile, Romania and Bulgaria’s recycling rate of 34 percent places them as the worst aluminum recyclers in the EU27 but they also use the Green Dot scheme.

EAA packaging group director Maarten Labberton said, “I am not surprised to see this increase as we have experienced during the past 20 years a solid annual growth of the recycling rates for aluminium packaging in general and aluminium beverage cans in particular.

“This is due to a combination of factors, such as a widespread and still growing awareness among the main stakeholders and the public of the need to collect and separate out household waste. We are confident that the recycling rate will further increase the next few years, providing our partners maintain and even increase their commitment to improve.”

The EAA believes that local authorities and waste management operators are becoming more aware of the high scrap value of well-sorted aluminum, which has led to rising investment in sorting and recycling technologies. Aluminum beverage can consumption increased from 32 billion in 2007 to 24 billion in 2008. Sales of filled aluminum beverage cans grew by 10 percent across western Europe, while central and eastern Europe increased by 3 percent.