SUEZ and Alupro invest in programme to recycle more aerosol cans

Two-year initiative aims to increase capture, sorting and treatment of aerosols amid upcoming packaging recycling reforms

Assorted waste spray cansSUEZ recycling and recovery UK has announced a two-year partnership with Alupro to develop a roadmap for increasing UK aerosol recycling rates.

In the first phase, SUEZ aims to recruit three local authorities from different areas across the UK to monitor and analyse aerosol capture rates over the coming 12 months.

The second phase, starting in 2025, will involve a year-long sampling exercise to measure the quantities of aerosols collected through both residual and recycling kerbside streams. This phase will also examine the challenges of sorting and analysing aerosols collected through kerbside systems and trial a new communications campaign designed to boost understanding of aerosol recycling among householders.

Research conducted for Alupro indicates that many people are uncertain about how to properly dispose of aerosols. This has led to fewer aerosols being disposed of in household recycling collections compared to other forms of metal packaging. An issue illustrated by a 2023 study by the Environmental Services Association (ESA) found that 18 per cent of the UK population admitted to throwing aerosols in their residual waste bin in the past year.

The partnership between SUEZ and Alupro aims to improve public knowledge around best practice recycling, establish a baseline recycling rate, and create a roadmap for achieving higher future rates for aerosol recycling. Additionally, the project seeks to stimulate substantial long-term investment in recycling infrastructure.

John Scanlon, Chief Executive Officer at SUEZ recycling and recovery UK, said: "We're looking forward to working with Alupro on this exciting and important initiative to improve aerosol recycling in the UK. With the 50 per cent aluminium recycling target coming in the near future under EPR, excluding drinks containers, it's imperative that we maximise the recycling rates of aerosols, through establishing a baseline recycling rate and improving public understanding."

Tom Giddings, Executive Director at Alupro, added: "This communications, collections and sorting trial represents the next big milestone on our roadmap to higher recycling rates for aerosols, and we're delighted to partner with SUEZ, whose expertise in delivering innovative projects led us to approach them to help us with this."

The UK Aerosol Recycling Initiative, led by Alupro, brings together partners from across the aerosols value chain. These include Ball Aerosol Packaging, Trivium Packaging, the British Aerosol Manufacturers' Association (BAMA), packaging compliance scheme Ecosurety, consumer brand Henkel, valve manufacturer LINDAL Group, The Materials Processing Institute, waste company CleanEco, and processors of reclaimed metal Tandom Metallurgical Group Ltd and Tata Steel.

As the project progresses, SUEZ and Alupro aim to share best practices with the industry through their research findings.Assorted waste spray cans