The recovery rate for aluminium containers reached 46.8% last year. This figure was achieved through different channels, including traditional recovery plants, sorting plants, composting plants, complementary recovery and waste-to-energy.
Every year, ARPAL (Association for the Recycling of Aluminium Products) carries out an exhaustive study to gather reliable information on the quantity of aluminium containers recovered through the different channels. This whole process enables us to know with exactitude the quantity of aluminium containers recovered in Spain and reintroduced into the production process.
The ARPAL study of traditional recovery plants provides an audit of the quantityof aluminium containers received by these professionals at their facilities, where they are processed before being sent to foundries for recycling. The ARPAL study has been carried out since 2001 and is based on discovering, on a “door-to-door” basis, the quantity of aluminium recovered at the facilities of traditional recovery facilities. The study enjoys the collaboration of the Spanish Federation of Recovery and Recycling (FER), the Gremi de Recuperació de Catalunya (Catalan Recovery Guild) and other organisations in the sector throughout Spain. Moreover, it is sponsored by ECOEMBES. The figures from this study are added to the number of containers recovered from the yellow containers, at sorting and composting plants and through complementary collection. The entire process makes it possible to have reliable information on the amount of aluminium containers really recycled in Spain.
Aluminium recycling is very important, both for the environment and for the economy. All recovered aluminium is recycled due to the fact that this metal is the most valuable packaging material on the market. In addition, recovered aluminium is an excellent raw material for the manufacture of new aluminium products, because the properties of this metal are not modified in the recycling process. In fact, 75% of all aluminium produced in the last 100 years is still currently in use in the form of different products, thanks to recycling.
A further advantage of aluminium recycling is that it saves energy. This is because manufacturing aluminium products with recycled aluminium saves 95% of the energy that would be required to produce aluminium from bauxite.