The practise of collection, recycling and recovery of a product’s packaging after use returns valuable materials and energy to be used again. For aluminium containing packaging, recovering the aluminium effectively reduces the demand for the equivalent quantity of primary (virgin) aluminium which would need to be mined. When very thin alufoil is recovered via incineration, it produces energy whilst simultaneously minimizing the amount of “waste” being sent to landfill. Recycling the recovered aluminium effectively reduces our dependence on natural resources and ensures that they are used efficiently and effectively.
Recycling & Recovery of Aluminium Foil Containing Packaging
Increasing collection and recycling/recovery rates for aluminium foil and alufoil packaging means that an equivalent quantity of primary (i.e. virgin) aluminium will not be required by the industry. This represents a significant energy saving as processing recycled aluminium requires 95% less energy than the equivalent quantity of primary metal produced from bauxite.
Strongly supported by the industry, foil container collection rates have steadily increased throughout Europe with the reported average collection rate of above 50% for 2010. An additional, but as yet unquantified, quantity of aluminium (packaging) is also recovered from the waste to energy incineration plant bottom ashes.
See below for more information. Links to national aluminium packaging recycling organisations are listed here.