This Christmas, Brits are expected to eat 378 million mince pies, with around a quarter of the 378 tonnes of aluminium packaging used to bake and package the festive treat expected to go unrecycled.
Research by the Co-op has found that more than one in five (22%) UK adults do not recycle household aluminium and it is estimated that over 3,000 tonnes could end up in landfill this Christmas.
Consumers mistakenly dispose of foil and aluminium products in general household waste when, in fact, it can be recycled. However, the Co-op has found that one-in-five local authorities do not accept aluminium in their recycling schemes, yet 81% of consumers said they would recycle aluminium if they could.
Co-op and Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation (Alupro) are now urging all UK local authorities to accept the material along with food cans and glass bottle collections.
Recycling one tonne of aluminium saves nine tonnes of C02 emissions. Aluminium can be endlessly recycled, without losing quality and takes as little as eight weeks to be recycled and be back on the supermarket shelf.
What’s more, recycling aluminium saves up to 95% of the energy it takes to make both aluminium from raw materials meaning it’s much more energy efficient than producing from virgin materials.
“We are delighted that Co-op is shining a light on the importance of recycling this valuable material,” said Rick Hindley, Executive Director of Alupro.
“So many festive food products are packaged in aluminium, and it is unthinkable that some of it may end up in the rubbish bin when it can be collected in kerbside recycling.”