ALUPRO (the Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation), in partnership with British Glass and the EAFA (European Aluminium Foil Association), has launched a new recycling communications initiative for local authorities to increase the recovery of aluminium caps and closures for recycling. The new campaign encourages recyclers to screw the caps back on their bottles before recycling as the metal can be successfully extracted during the glass recycling process.
Following research by Alupro into the UK closure market via both its members and those of British Glass, it was discovered that approximately 5,000 tonnes of aluminium from caps and closures could be recovered. At today’s raw material prices that’s over £2 million worth of aluminium that could be diverted from landfill. It was also highlighted that there is currently no end-user messages or communication focussing on recycling aluminium caps and closures via either kerbside collections or bring bank systems throughout the UK.
Rick Hindley, Executive Director, Alupro said, “The market for aluminium bottle closures is growing rapidly, particularly for wine bottles, so it is important that the consumer gets in the habit of recycling them so that the aluminium can be captured for reprocessing. The message to the public is simple; screwing the top back on the empty bottle before recycling is the easiest way for people to do their bit to recycle this valuable material.”
The “You Can Leave Your Cap On” initiative launched in Kent on 3rd July 2013, as part of a trial campaign with four local authorities. The communications programme has been designed to encourage households to screw the tops back on empty glass bottles – such as wine, spirits and olive oil – before placing them out to recycle through local bring banks or kerbside recycling containers.
Sevenoaks District Council is the first authority to trial the new campaign materials, with Dartford, Portsmouth and Bedford also taking part.
Rebecca Cocking, Head of Container Affairs at British Glass, who are part-funding the Alupro campaign in association with the EAFA Closures Group, said, “We see this as an excellent campaign that both informs and helps the consumer to recycle as much as possible. It also highlights the important role bring banks play in getting good quality glass back into the system, helping saving energy and raw materials.”
Sevenoaks is now communicating the “You Can Leave Your Cap On” message on each of its 223 recycling bring banks located at 50 sites throughout the district which are now branded with new eye-catching bright green stickers (shown above) provided by Alupro. The message to residents will be reinforced using various council communication channels such as its website, newsletter and local media.
Speaking about the launch in Sevenoaks, Avril Hunter, Deputy Cabinet Member for the Environment, Sevenoaks District Council, said, “Screw tops are a far from insignificant part of the waste stream, and because they are made from aluminium their recycling potential is enormous. Thanks to modern recycling methods aluminium bottle tops are easier to recover for recycling when they are collected with the glass, so it is now possible to recycle and continue re-using this precious metal over and over again. We’re urging our residents to help by simply screwing the top back onto the empty bottle and dropping it in their local bottle bank.”
Rick added, “The ‘You Can Leave Your Cap On’ campaign is our latest partnership project and complements the work we are doing to promote wider metal packaging recycling through the industry partnerships we manage, in particular the ‘MetalMatters’ programme. Supporting and working with local authorities and their waste management partners is a proven approach to really make a positive difference to aluminium recycling rates.”
The innovative caps and closures recycling campaign is the first of its kind in Europe and Alupro is keen to ensure that the collected material is officially reported through the PRN system. Following the four initial local authority trials over the next few months, results will be measured and announced by Alupro later in the Autumn.