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New intiative aimed at foil and aerosols

October 15, 2009 at 10:56 am

Many of us are unsure about recycling everyday items such as foil and aerosols. Figures produced by Alupro, (the Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation), show that 26,000 tonnes of foil are used in the UK for packaging and wrapping, in addition to 29,500 tonnes of aluminium and steel aerosols, each year.

Although around two out of three local authorities provide recycling facilities for aerosols and foil the message is clearly not understood by the general public. Only 39% of people realise that they can recycle aerosols and only 59% think that clean foil can be recycled. An encouraging 84% of households said they would recycle aerosols if they were able to and 85% said the same for foil.

Last month, Alupro launched a campaign to get the message across to householders and to encourage the remaining councils involved in offering the facility to recycle these materials. The campaign is being funded by giant Unilever, the British Aerosol Manufacturers’ Association and the less familiar Coppice Alupack, Nicholl Food Packaging and Jena, all of whom are foil manufacturers.

Alupro is a not-for-profit organisation which is responsible for ensuring that targets for recycling packaging waste are met. Rick Hindley, executive director of Alupro, said that it has never been easier for local authorities and waste management companies to “handle the material effectively” but stressed that only empty aerosols with lids removed could be recycled and that any foil put out for recycling must be clean.

Some would of course argue that we should avoid buying aerosols in the first place, since they are environmentally costly to produce and the gases used can cause harm to the environment but, if you have no choice, then make sure that you find out whether you can recycle the empty containers in your area.

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