European aluminium can recycling stagnates

Statistics show no progress towards industry's 50% recycling pledge after two years

Aluminium beverage can recycling rates in western Europe remained exactly level in 1999 at 41%, according to figures released by the European Aluminium Association (EAA) and its packaging subsidiary body Packalu. The statistics show that no progress is being made towards achieving a 50% recycling target set by the EAA in 1998, based on a 1997 recycling rate of 40% (ENDS Daily 10 June 1998).

Packalu manager François Pruvost defended the poor results. Achieving the 50% recycling target had been made difficult by flat sales of aluminium packaging, he told ENDS Daily. Continuing reliance on national multi-material collection schemes was also hampering growth, Mr Pruvost said, stressing that efforts were being made to develop better aluminium sorting.

Packalu's estimated 1999 figures show a big increase in Finland's recycling rate from 1998, making it the European champion for aluminium can recycling. Sweden, Turkey and the Benelux countries also showed significant increases. A huge cut is reported for German recycling, though the latest annual report by the country's packaging collection firm DSD suggests that this was entirely a statistical effect (ENDS Daily 12 May).

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European aluminium drinks can recycling %:
                 1998           1999
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Finland           84             95
Sweden            87             90
Switzerland       89             90
Norway + Iceland  80             82
Germany           86             72
Benelux           66             70
Austria           50             50
Turkey            45             50
Italy             42             42
Greece            36             36
UK                36             36
Portugal          17             20
France            19             19
Spain             21             19
Ireland           17             16
Denmark            -              -
W Europe Total    41             41
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Source:  European Aluminium Association
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Follow Up:
European Aluminium Association, tel: +32 2 775 6363.

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