Aluminium packaging recycling in Germany
In addition to material efficiency and perfect product protection, high recycling rates are an important contributor to a circular economy and the protection of resources. Aluminium is increasingly being recycled and kept as a secondary raw material in the material loop. Its share of aluminium production in Germany is around 60%, making it an indispensable component of the metal supply.
The collection and recycling of all aluminium packaging and aluminium foil containing packaging began with the entry into force of the Packaging Ordinance in 1991 and the founding of the Dual System ("The Green Dot"). Previously already cans or menu trays were collected by commercial and charitable initiatives - not least because of the high positive market value.
Nowadays, used aluminium packaging is mainly collected via yellow bins and bags from households, then reliably sorted out in high-efficiency sorting plants using modern separation technologies. Since the comprehensive implementation of the deposit system for beverage packaging in 2006 aluminium cans are being taken back in shops where the paid deposit of EUR 0.25 is refunded.
Moreover, used aluminium packaging is also recovered through industry solutions and other collection routes as well as through metal recovery from biological and thermal waste treatment plants. The achieved recycling rate is a top value in Europe.
The contribution to climate protection is relevant. The recycling of aluminium reduces the use of energy and emission of greenhouse gases by up to 95 per cent compared to primary production. The annual greenhouse gas savings are almost 500,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalents, based on the amount of recycling achieved.