Trade group Alupro welcomes 3% annual increase in aluminum packaging recycling targets to be introduced from 2013-2017 in the U.K., but calls for regular review

WORCESTERSHIRE, England , March 21, 2012 (press release) – The Aluminium Packaging and Recycling Organisation (Alupro) has welcomed the Government’s announcement that statutory packaging recycling targets which will increase year on year, are to be introduced from 2013 until 2017; but has cautioned that continual review is critical if the industry is to maximise recycling performance.

Following the announcement by DEFRA that packaging recycling targets will increase for aluminium by 3%, plastic by 5% and steel by 1% per year, with glass recycling split by end use, Alupro has confirmed it believes the targets to be challenging but achievable, as well as fair and equitable across all materials.

Alupro has cautioned that targets must continue to be reviewed however and is calling for active support from Government, stakeholders, brands and retailers to ensure recycling rates are maximised.

Rick Hindley, Alupro executive director, said: “Alupro fully supports the setting of aspirational targets but because there is still uncertainty concerning the removal of aluminium included in composite packaging from waste arising figures we strongly recommend that the targets set until 2017 are reviewed in 2014.

“This will help Government ensure targets remain challenging, achievable and aligned with industry objectives to maximise recycling performance.”

Alupro has also welcomed the full review and analysis of the data relating to aluminium waste arising and obligated tonnage that the Government confirms will be undertaken in 2012.

Rick continued: “The way in which aluminium packaging recycling has traditionally been measured and consequently reported has been flawed by the UK’s interpretation of the Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive.
“In fact the UK remains the only country in Europe which classifies the aluminium used as an essential but minor component of composite or laminate packs, as aluminium packaging.

“With around 16,000 tonnes of aluminium used in composite and laminate packaging, the removal of aluminium included in composite packaging from waste arising figures would play a significant role in helping the industry to boost recycling performance.

“Such a move would also bring the UK into line with the requirements of the EU Packaging and Packaging Waste Directive. In that way, recycling performance could be measured and reported on an equal footing with all other EU countries.”

In fact, Alupro has confirmed that the metal packaging sector is committed to achieving an average 80% recycling rate across Europe by 2020.

Rick added: “For these levels of recycling to be achieved at European level, it is essential that UK recycling levels continue to increase in-line with the industry’s model, developed by Alupro in response to the previous consultation in 2010.

“Alupro remains confident that we can achieve this target along with the sector’s own UK target of 65% for all aluminium packaging by 2020. The new, statutory targets will play a vital role in achieving this by driving investment through the Packaging Recovery Notes (PRN) system, and ensuring recycling performance is maximised.”

Investment through the PRN system is critical in providing an incentive to reprocessors and exporters to remain accredited. Falling PRN prices in the last three years – the result of flat recycling targets – have led reprocessors and exporters to question the commercial value of remaining accredited.

Alupro has called for the Advisory Committee on Packaging (ACP) to establish a working group to consider the issue as the accreditation of reprocesors and exporters is fundamental to maintaining the integrity of the PRN system, while investment through the PRN system plays a vital role in enabling accurate reporting of recycling performance to the EU.

Rick added: “While further on-going review is required to ensure targets remain challenging, achievable and set at the optimum level to boost recycling performance, today’s announcement is good news for the industry.

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