Alupro, the aluminum packaging recycling organisation, has launched the UK Aerosol Recycling Initiative, which it says will “help increase public awareness and uptake of aerosol recycling and increase recycling rates at across the UK”.
The initiative brings together workgroup partners from across the value chain, including Ball Aerosol Packaging, the British Aerosol Manufacturers’ Association (BAMA), Ecosurety, a packaging compliance program, The Materials Processing Institute, Suez Recycling and Recovery UK and Tandom Metallurgical Group Ltd, processors of reclaimed aluminium. The project aims to ensure the recyclability and viability of metal aerosols in a post-Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) and post-deposit return system (DRS) landscape. Metal recycles endlessly, so steel or aluminum in metal spray cans can be recycled endlessly without any loss of quality.
The cross-sector initiative will follow a three-phase approach to educate consumers on recycling best practices, to establish a baseline recycling rate and a roadmap to achieve higher future rates for aerosol recycling in the UK , as well as to seek substantial long-term results. investments in recycling infrastructure. The program will help ensure that aerosols become a central part of recycling behavior.
Earlier this year, Alupro, in conjunction with independent environmental consultancy Resource Futures, undertook sampling work to determine where a baseline recycling rate for aerosols in the UK stands. The results showed that, despite 95% of municipalities offering curbside aerosol recycling, only 46% of aerosols are properly sorted for recycling by consumers.
“The Lonely Aerosol”, a consumer engagement campaign, was also launched earlier this year to encourage consumers to recycle empty aerosol cans. The pilot campaign reached a high volume of consumers, with nearly one million people viewing the animations at least twice.
Going forward, the project will create a roadmap to form a strategic approach to achieving higher aerosol recycling rates in the UK, including the development of new resources for consumers.
Predrag Ozmo, sustainability manager at Ball Aerosol Packaging, said: “We are proud to have joined the UK aerosol recycling initiative in partnership with Alupro. The program will provide a single platform from which consumer behavior change and infrastructure improvements can be achieved.
“The project is key to bringing about further improvements in recycling, addressing both consumer insights and the role of government and industry bodies. As a company, we realized that the old linear economic model no longer worked. The urgency and benefits of moving to a circular economy are clear.
“True circularity involves the continuous recovery and reuse of materials, without losing anything during the complete cycle. It’s not enough for products to be recyclable – they must be physically recycled in the real world. »
Robbie Staniforth, Director of Innovation and Policy at Ecosurety, said: “We are delighted to be part of this cross-industry initiative. It is essential that we build on the success of aluminum recycling in general by focusing on specific packaging formats.
“Many of the barriers preventing aerosol recycling are well known, what is less clear is how these barriers can be removed. This initiative will pave the way for much higher recycling rates for aluminum packaging at the coming.
Tom Giddings, Executive Director of Alupro, added: “Aerosols consistently top WRAP’s annual list of consumer packaging types that are confusing when it comes to recycling. As an industry, our goal is to exceed a 50% aerosol recycling rate by 2030, which makes this initiative essential.
“This initiative will allow us to work closely with our partners to improve consumer behavior and the aerosol recycling infrastructure in the UK. These changes in the metal packaging industry will not only contribute to a broader sustainable future, but will also allow us to take an important step towards a 100% metal packaging recycling rate.
This is just the beginning of this project; we have big plans for the future and we actively welcome new partners who have an interest in maximizing the recycling rate of aerosols.
For more information about Alupro, visit www.alupro.org.uk.