2008 initiatives to further stimulate can recycling


The European Aluminium Association (EAA) - in conjunction with Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation Ireland (ALUPRO-Ireland) - has launched the 2008 initiatives to further stimulate can recycling in Ireland.

Given the increasing sales of aluminium beverage cans and foils onto the Irish market, there is an ever-increasing need to raise awareness and stimulate recycling.

In 2007, initiatives with An Taisce during National Spring Clean saw the collection of over 4,350 cans by Holy Cross Mercy National School during national spring clean week alone. The school received a prize of 1,000, which they have used to develop their outdoor green areas for students.

Repak National Recycling Week saw the start of a campaign to increase foil and tray recycling in the green bin with the 'Wash, Squash and Pop' drive for restaurants and take-aways - urging them to clean their trays out and place them in the green bin and encouraging their customers to do the same by placing a permanent on-counter sign showing them what to do.

In 2008, the EAA and ALUPRO-Ireland have teamed-up again with An Taisce for the National SpringClean, with a similar competition to last year, aimed at collecting as many cans as possible for recycling.

Information leaflets on aluminium recycling and an improved carbon footprint have been provided. For further information on the initiative - Click Here

This is a special year for the Tidy Towns Competition - celebrating the 50th Anniversary of this nationally recognised and accredited Competition. The EAA is sponsoring an Aluminium Art Competition - incorporating as many cans and foils as possible - as part of the Tidy Towns initiative. Details and an application form will be distributed to the 2,500-plus applicants in the Tidy Towns Competition. For further information - or, for an application form, contact -

  • Ms Karen Mahon, ALUPRO-Ireland, Ballinderry House, Enfield Co. Meath.
    Tel: 0876 016 723, Fax: 046 955 5602, Email: [email protected] - or
  • Tidy Towns Competition, Customs House, Dublin 1.

Key facts & figures on aluminium packaging recycling -

  • Over 95 per cent of aluminium packaging is primary consumer packaging - from well-known drinks cans and take-away trays, to foil on chocolate wrappers and some lids on yogurt pots.
  • Aluminium is used in packaging for its unsurpassed barrier properties and for its clean modern look. All plain or lacquered aluminium, such as that used in cans and foils, is 100% recyclable, saving up to 95% energy when recycled instead of using mined material - it may be recycled time and time again.
  • Ample reprocessing capacity and secure end-markets are available, making recycling viable - drinks cans may be recycled, reprocessed, filled and put back onto the shelf in just 60 days.
  • In 2006, 3,534 tonnes of aluminium were recycled - up from 2,825 tonnes in 2005 (Source Repak)
  • The official Irish aluminium packaging recycling rate was 33% in 2006 (EPA NWDB figures). The cans-only recycling rate is considerably higher and estimated to be closer to 50%.