Post-consumer aluminium scrap tops 20m tonnes

The International Aluminium Institute (IAI) has released new data revealing a record 20 million tonnes of post-consumer scrap intake in 2019.  This avoids 300 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions as the recycled metal reduces demand for primary aluminium.

This new high, published in the latest IAI Material Flow Model update, represents nearly 60% of total scrap intake as post-consumer continues to outstrip pre-consumer scrap levels. The post-consumer scrap intake came from three main sources – packaging, vehicles and building and construction.

Commenting on the data, IAI’s Director – Scenarios & Forecasts, Marlen Bertram, said: “Aluminium demand is expected to increase by about 80% in 2050, and the IAI forecasts that recycled aluminium could meet half of that demand. 

“With ambitious collection targets for used beverage cans and improved recycling technologies for foil, this rate could even be higher.

“Historical figures indicate that measures to increase the amount of post-consumer aluminium products being put back into production continue to be successful.

The latest figures are part of IAI’s annual Material Flow Model update, published on Alucycle.

Ms Bertram notes: “The IAI can now look back at nearly 70 years of historical data from mining to product, recycling and trade for nine regions and globally. The 2021 update includes a complete historical dataset for 2019 as well as 2020 partial dataset.”

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