PRNs to be issued for aluminium recycled from IBA

From 1 January 2015, those recovering aluminium packaging from incinerator bottom ash (IBA) for recycling will be able to apply tor packaging recovery notes (PRNs), it has been announced.

Alupro launches aluminium incinerator bottom ash protocol
A sample of incinerator bottom ash, including aluminium packaging
A new protocol for recovering aluminium from IBA has been developed by the Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation (Alupro), and acknowledged by the Environment Agency (EA), to allow UK-based companies that process the ash left over from the waste incineration process to claim PRNs for the aluminium packaging recovered for recycling. This is already routinely done across Europe.

According to Alupro – which celebrated its 25th anniversary earlier this month – at least half (50 per cent) of all non-ferrous IBA is made up of aluminium packaging such as drinks cans and aerosols. As such, it is hoped that by introducing the new protocol, up to 10,000 tonnes of recovered aluminium could be recycled, and thus count towards the targets for the recovery of aluminium packaging (currently set for 70 per cent by 2020).

Further, it is hoped that the protocol will ‘enable a more accurate comparison between the sector’s recycling performance in the UK with its European counterparts’.

The protocol forms part of Alupro’s work to ensure that ‘all of the aluminium packaging collected for recycling is counted’ so that a more accurate recycling rate can be determined (the membership body had previously expressed concerns about the ability of the PRN system to accurately report the ‘true recycling performance of aluminium packaging’).

Speaking about the new IBA protocol, Rick Hindley, Executive Director of Alupro, said: “Aluminium packaging is already being recovered and recycled from IBA in the UK. The establishment of this protocol is excellent news as it will now mean that this recovered aluminium packaging can count towards national recycling targets.

“We would always prioritise the collection of household aluminium through clean collection systems to ensure maximum value of the material is achieved, but with the growth of energy-from-waste plants set to increase between now and 2020, it is important that the aluminium content of IBA is counted towards national recycling targets.”

To find out more about the IBA protocol, contact Alupro.