Luton Borough Council is urging residents to make their ‘metals matter’ by encouraging them to recycle more of the estimated 94 million cans, aerosols, aluminium foil trays and wrapping foil used in Luton every year.*

Used metal packaging can be recycled endlessly into new products at a far lower cost to the environment, compared to making them from raw materials.

Research** has shown that some people do not know that their used metal packaging could be transformed into new, valuable everyday items when collected in their recycling bin. By helping residents understand what can be recycled and explain what happens to the metals collected, the Council hopes to increase the metal recycling rate. The metal packaging manufacturing industry is supporting the ‘make your metals matter’ recycling campaign launching in Luton in June to raise awareness of the importance of metal packaging recycling.

If all the metal packaging used in Luton each year was collected for recycling it would save around 2,548 tonnes of Carbon dioxide – the equivalent to taking over 542 cars off local streets for a year.***

Alex Constantinides, Service Director Public Realm at Luton Borough Council said: “We’re calling on Luton residents to make their metals matter and increase the recycling rate.

“The Council is committed to reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill and I hope this activity and promotional work will encourage more residents to recycle their metal packaging. The energy saved by recycling just one can is enough to run a TV for four hours, so a small action like putting your empty bean tin in the recycling bin can make a big difference.”

Rick Hindley, Executive Director of project managers, Alupro, said: “It is great to be able to work in partnership with Luton Borough Council to promote the recycling of metal packaging. The MetalMatters campaign has delivered significant increases in the volumes of metal packaging collected for recycling in other parts of the UK, so we’re aiming to repeat – and hopefully better this – in Luton.”

The campaign is being jointly funded by MetalMatters, an industry partnership comprising the UK’s leading producers, users and recyclers of metal packaging and Luton Borough Council. MetalMatters is run by the Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation (Alupro) on behalf of the funding partners.


* Number of million packaging items based on: 600 food tins, 380 drinks cans and 27 empty aerosols thrown out by an average household annually (1007 items), multiplied by approx. number of households in Luton (79,355).

**Research carried out by the BCME (Beverage Can Makers Europe) during the inception stage of the MetalMatters programme in 2010.   Please use this web address to download the case study into the Pilot Programme which details this research .

***CO2 equivalence based on: The average household consumption of steel and aluminium packaging across 79,355 households in Luton, the CO2 saving if this entire quantity was recycled and the average emission of CO2 from a standard car per annum. Actual calculations are available.

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