Rick Hindley – Executive Director, Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation (Alupro)

    Rick has spent the past 27 years in the UK packaging recycling industry as an aluminium specialist. He joined the Aluminium Can Recycling Association (ACRA) in 1989 as Regional Manager and was heavily involved in the launch of the national programme to encourage consumers to recycle aluminium drink cans. Rick left ACRA in 1999 to join Aluminium Can Recycling (Alcan) as Operations Manager, responsible for the company’s “cash for can” centre network. The following year he became General Manager and was responsible for running Alcan’s (now Novelis) can recycling programme in the UK. In February 2007, after a short period working for Valpak he joined the Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation (Alupro) as Executive Director. He is responsible for developing and implementing the aluminium industry’s strategy to maximise the recycling rate for aluminium packaging in the UK. He is also a Director of the Aluminium Federation and a member of the UK Government’s Advisory Committee on Packaging (ACP).

    Rick has made a major contribution to the successful development of the aluminium industry’s recycling programme since its launch.

    Title: Aluminium packaging – the story of real recycling

    Synopsis: As the debate on packaging pollution continues, we explore the role of aluminium packaging – the financial and environmental value, and its recyclability – in a circular economy. The recycling rate for aluminium drinks cans continues to increase year on year, hitting 72% in 2017 (up from 70% in 2016), whilst the national recycling rate for all aluminium packaging reached 51% (up from 50% in 2016). We are ambitious – by 2030, we will recycle 90% of aluminium packaging in the UK. We will take the audience on a journey as to how this can be achieved, using our existing programmes to share learnings. Aluminium and steel – the materials used to make drink cans – are infinitely recyclable. We will explore the Every Can Counts programme, which aims to make it easier to recycle drinks cans when out-of-home. A partnership between drink can manufacturers and the recycling industry, Every Can Counts was originally developed in the UK in 2009, to target the drinks cans used outside the home to increase recycling rates. This means they can be melted down and endlessly reused with absolutely no loss of quality, true closed loop recycling. Every Counts now operates in 15 countries, including France, Austria, Spain and Greece. We will also delve into the challenge of encouraging residents to recycle more at home; our MetalMatters programme is one of the most cost-effective ways to educate and motivate householders to recycle the metal packaging they use at home. It is a proven communications programme designed to support the UK’s current kerbside recycling schemes, and the price paid for the aluminium packaging collected more than covers the cost of that collection. The campaign pays for itself in just a few months, delivering outstanding return on investment for local authorities and their waste collection partners. We will discuss the concept of real recycling. Real because aluminium packaging isn’t just recyclable – it is recycled….endlessly.


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