aluminum beverage can recycling rate reaches 64 percent
The overall recycling rate for aluminum beverage
cans in the European 27 including EFTA countries and Turkey increased
by 1.2 percent to 64.3 percent in 2009. Despite the difficult
economic situation the consumption of aluminum beverage cans
in wider Europe remained at 34 billion units – it was possible
to collect and recycle a further 400 million in addition to the
21 billion cans already recycled.
Traditionally beverage can recycling rates differ a lot from
country to country. Most of the Nordic European countries have
well-balanced deposit systems in place which generate stable
and high recycling rates of around 90 percent.
Countries such as Belgium with well-managed pre-sorted packaging
collection schemes also book excellent results. However, some
of these schemes need further improvement and should focus on
a better sorting quality and include the collection of cans which
are consumed out-of-home.
Successful local programs such as the UK Every Can Counts initiative
can further help and are now being replicated in other countries.
France and Austria joined with their own versions, called Chaque
Canette Compte in French, and Jede Dose Zaehlt in German. The
main purpose of these programs is to stimulate consumers at their
workplace or while enjoying other outdoor activities such as
a festival or a sport event to collect and deposit their cans
in designated bins.
In general it is strongly recommended that EU Member States further
improve their reporting of the recycled quantities of metal packaging,
for example by including the quantities which are collected outside
regular schemes. Several countries in Central and Eastern Europe
have collection schemes run by the private sector, using the
high scrap value of aluminum as the main driver while an increasing
number of countries also collect metals from the bottom ashes
of the household waste incinerators. These fractions should be
taken into account.
Based on the overall positive recycling trend over the past 20
years the aluminum industry together with the can manufacturers
are aiming at an average European recycling rate of 75 percent
in 2015 for all beverage cans and together with its partners
in the Metal Packaging Europe (MPE) platform – an overall recycling
rate for all metal packaging of 80 percent in 2020.