17 September 2019 by Lucy Pegg

100th local authority joins MetalMatters

A metal recycling campaign has been supported by its 100th local authority, against a background of “high levels” of public engagement with metals messaging.

Members of East Riding of Yorkshire council as they become the 100th local authority to join the MetalMatters campaign.

The 100th MetalMatters programme launch was by the East Riding of Yorkshire council at an event in Bridlington in a bid to target 114,000 households in the area.

It was supported by compliance scheme Valpak, one of MetalMatters’ funding partners, and is part of a roadshow of events which hope to educate consumers on the recyclability of metal.

East Riding already has the highest recycling rate of all local authorities in England at 64.5% for 2017/18 – but it is hoping the new initiative will push that even further.

Nigel Tomlinson, commercial manager at Valpak, said: “I was happy to attend East Riding’s launch of the MetalMatters campaign; firstly, to support an excellent initiative to help capture recyclable metals from the waste but secondly, as an East Riding resident, to show my personal support for the proactive approach that my local council takes to waste and recycling.”

MetalMatters is an industry-funded programme which looks to increase the capture rate of metal packaging collected for recycling at the kerbside.

Successful messaging

Over a quarter of UK councils have signed up to MetalMatters since its introduction in 2012 and it is claiming high levels of engagement with its work.

“18% of residents remembered the campaign without prompting and 32% recalled it when shown the leaflets – a recall rate which outperformed all expectations for a campaign with a modest budget.”

Rick Hindley, Alupro

Earlier this year research on the campaign’s success was undertaken after its launch to 62,000 households in Teignbridge, Devon. It found that residents recalled the programme and that many had changed their behaviour as a result of it.

Rick Hindley, executive director at the Aluminium Recycling Packaging Organisation (Alupro), said: ‘Encouragingly when carrying out our consumer testing in Teignbridge, 18% of residents remembered the campaign without prompting and 32% recalled it when shown the leaflets – a recall rate which outperformed all expectations for a campaign with a modest budget.

“Of those, 90% thought the leaflet was either helpful or very helpful and 65% actually retained the leaflet to refer to in the future.”

Pre and post-campaign surveys indicated that following MetalMatters residents were recycling 10% more foil lidding and wrapping foil, 5% more aerosols and 3% more metal sweet and biscuit tins.

In June Alupro reported that 75% of aluminium cans were collected for recycling in the UK in 2018, up from 3% in 2017. Overall the recycling rate for aluminium packaging – which includes foil trays, aerosols, bottle screw caps and wrapping foil – stands at 52%, Alupro said. (see letsrecycle.com story)

MetalMatters is supported by a number of industry bodies, manufacturers, retailers and compliance schemes, including Beverage Can Makers Europe (BCME), Cofresco, Marks and Spencer, Ardagh Group and Novelis.

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