Last week (23 March), Alupro unveiled its pioneering Aluminium Manifesto at an exclusive virtual roundtable. With speeches from Neil Parish MP, Chair of the EFRA committee; and Ruth Jones MP, Shadow Minister (EFRA), the event brought together leading parliamentary groups to discuss the national transition towards a circular economy.
Developed in-line with the UK’s ambitious targets to protect and enhance the environment for generations to come, the Manifesto calls for fundamental change in our national approach to packaging and waste management, explaining the pivotal role of rejuvenated legislation and innovative and consistent consumer engagement in driving a strong circular economy in the UK.
Alongside explaining why close collaboration between industry actors and the government is needed to deliver a world-class recycling system, the document voices the opinions of the supply chain and explains aluminium’s central role in the sustainable packaging industry of tomorrow. Aiming to help the UK exceed aluminium recycling targets, achieve true resource circularity and harness legislative opportunities, the Manifesto outlines seven key asks:
– That used aluminium packaging is consistently collected for recycling wherever possible.
– That ambitious on-the-go recycling infrastructure is put in place to prevent the landfilling or littering of recyclable material.
– That government and industry must collaborate to educate consumers about best practice aluminium recycling.
– That a well-designed deposit return scheme (DRS), with variable deposit fee, is implemented to promote the high collection and recycling of beverage containers.
– That a well-designed extended producer responsibility (EPR) system is implemented that incentivises the use, and value, of infinitely recyclable aluminium.
– That the government must support the deployment of proven technologies to facilitate the widespread recycling of aluminium packaging.
– That recyclable products recovered from incinerator bottom ash (IBA) are accounted for in recycling rates.
Tom Giddings, Executive Director of Alupro, commented: “Aluminium is infinitely recyclable and therefore plays a central role in the circular economy of tomorrow. Indeed, nearly 75% of all aluminium ever produced worldwide is still in use today – a remarkable statistic.
“With the UK Government having set a target of eliminating all avoidable plastic waste by 2042, and aiming to work towards use of only recyclable, reusable or compostable plastic packaging by 2025, the industry needs to embrace significant change. As a result, we anticipate more brands switching to sustainable packaging options – like aluminium. Having the systems in place to maximise recycling rates is therefore key to achieving ambitious goals.
“Alupro’s Aluminium Manifesto outlines the views of the aluminium packaging industry and details the changes needed to realise a more sustainable future for our waste. It’s our stake in the ground to tackle challenges, harness opportunities and embrace change to deliver a world-class national recycling system.”
Neil Parish MP, Chair of the EFRA committee, added: “I welcome Alupro’s manifesto and applaud the organisation’s work to improve recycling across the UK. Recycling rates remain stagnant, and Government needs to take a greater role in reducing unsustainable packaging and encouraging the move to a circular economy. Aluminium packaging, such as cans, which can be infinitely recycled and reused again, will be a central part of this.
“That’s why the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee, which I chair, is looking closely at what more can be done to reduce plastic waste. We also need a much simpler recycling system as the lack of uniformity between local authorities is a barrier to improving recycling rates. I encourage all parties to endorse this manifesto which comes at a pivotal moment as we all strive to improve our environmental credentials.”
Ruth Jones MP, Shadow Minister (EFRA), concluded: “I welcome Alupro’s manifesto to improve recycling rates across the UK. This is very timely and highlights how aluminium is the perfect material for a circular economy as it is infinitely recyclable.
Tackling waste is a priority for me as Shadow Waste Minister and I call on the Government to pay due regard to the principles of waste hierarchy and a circular economy. In particular, I welcome the manifesto’s focus on the important role of local authorities in the fight to improve recycling rates.
I look forward to working with all stakeholders in the industry to engage on these issues as we seek to protect and preserve our environment.”
For more information about Alupro, or to download a PDF copy of the manifesto, visit https://alupro.org.uk/sustainability/manifesto/.