Beverage cans account for the lion’s share of semi-rigid and rigid aluminium-based packaging. Thanks to suitable technologies it is possible to recycle waste scrap into ingots, from which in turn kneaded products (such as can bodies) can be made. Experts speak of a high aluminium content here, and this corresponds to a high market value.
Flexible packaging waste, in contrast to this, has a low aluminium content since the packaging is often very thin and frequently laminated with paper or plastics on top of this. Nevertheless, using specially developed technology it is possible to separate the aluminium from the lamination products and reclaim it for closed-loop recycling.
The percentage of collected packaging materials varies from country to country and depends on many factors such as state regulations, deposit schemes, recycling fees or advertising, to name but a few, explains aluminium producer Hydro
on its website. “In Europe 30% to 90% of cans are collected, the average for European countries stands at 70%. For rigid packaging the total recycling ratio in Europe amounts to 50%,” says the company.