Alufoil tray recycling on upward trend, says EAFA

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Aluminium foil European aluminium foil Aluminium Recycling Eastern europe

The overall recycling rate of alufoil trays and semi-rigid containers throughout Europe is 40 per cent, but there are plans afoot to increase that rate, claims the European Aluminium Foil Association (EAFA).

EAFA, which represents companies engaged in the rolling and rewinding of alufoil and in the manufacture of alufoil packaging, said that alufoil trays and semi-rigid containers are primarily used in the ready meal, baked goods and pet food sectors of the food industry.

Guido Winsel, communications spokesperson for EAFA, told that there was no previous recycling rate available for comparison purposes, and that EAFA calculated the rate based on national foil tray consumption data, in addition to national recycling rates of aluminium or aluminium foil packaging.

He said the regions included in the data compilation were Western, Central and Eastern Europe.


According to Winsel, countries like Germany, with a rate of aluminium packaging recycling of 76 per cent, have had a much bigger influence on the overall rate than countries in Central and Eastern Europe.

“The European aluminium foil industry is about to intensify the foil tray recycling in some European countries like the UK or France where there is improvement potential,” ​he continued.

He explained that a Europe wide alufoil recycling campaign presents challenges due to the fact that recycling schemes operate completely differently in the various countries: "We have to go for a country by country approach."

Sustainable option

Winsel maintains that alufoil trays, through their continuous light weighting by down-gauging of material coupled with the fact that used aluminium is endlessly recyclable, are a sustainable as well as convenient packaging option.

“The focus of aluminium recycling is generally the beverage can as it is the most obvious in the alu fraction. However, semi-rigid foil containers are also easy recyclable and that is what we have to communicate more,” ​he added.

According to the association, no loss of quality incurs in the aluminium recycling process:

“Recycling of used aluminium saves up to 95 per cent energy, and recycled aluminium foil trays are used again for the production of new valuable aluminium products.”

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