Nearly 70% of the population buy or use aerosols and 73% of these recycle them, a new survey carried out for the British Aerosol Manufacturers’ Association (BAMA) reveals.
The body reports that the sector’s green credentials have been transformed since 18 years ago, when only 7% of local authorities provided aerosol recycling. Today, over 87% of councils accept empty aerosols for recycling.
The survey showed that the most commonly recycled aerosols were personal care aerosols – reflecting the industry’s largest sector – and that women were slightly better at recycling than men. The 35-54 age group was revealed to contain the most enthusiastic recyclers and half of the 1,000 respondents said they recycled between 1-5 products every three months.
However, there is still room for improvement on the recycling front as 80% of those buying or using aerosols said they do not recycle them – because they don’t know how.
Dr John Morris, BAMA’s chief executive, said: “It’s very rewarding to see that our efforts, by creating campaigns via retailers, the media, consumers and local authorities, are working. We have been able to create a momentum for recycling aerosols.
“Almost 30,000 tonnes of reclaimable metal are used in aerosols sold in the UK each year. This means empty aerosol recycling makes a valuable contribution to meeting local authorities’ required reduction in landfill.”
Some 60% of aerosol cans are made from tinplated steel and the remaining 40% from aluminium. Both of these metals are recyclable.
BAMA is a partner in the MetalMatters initiative with the Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation (Alupro), which urges local authority recycling departments to recycle more metal.