Orkney: It’s Time to Make your Metals Matter!

Orkney: It’s Time to Make your Metals Matter!
22 September 2017

Households in Orkney will now be able to recycle aerosols, kitchen foil and foil tray products as part of the fortnightly green bin collections.

The news comes as Orkney Islands Council marks national Recycle Week (25 September - 1 October) with the launch of a county-wide Metal Matters campaign. Orkney Islands Council has teamed up with the metal packaging manufacturing and recycling industry to launch the promotional campaign, which will reach all 11,312 households across the area.

The campaign will be launched at a roadshow event at the Pickaquoy Centre from 10:00 on Monday September 25 where local folk can come along and find out more about the campaign.

Current figures suggest that Orkney households use over 12 million cans, foil trays and aerosols per year.* The council have launched this new campaign to make sure every last one of those items makes it into a green recycling bin or communal recycling bank.

The campaign will include leaflets sent to every home, recycling vehicle signage, stickers for communal recycling bins and will be supported with local roadshows and a social media campaign.

The aim of the campaign is to remind residents to recycle all of the metal packaging found around their home. Items that can be recycled both in green kerbside bins and at communal collection points include:

  • Food and drink cans.
  • Foil trays.
  • Kitchen foil.
  • Empty aerosols.
  • Metal jar and bottle tops.
  • Biscuit tins.

If all of the metal packaging used in Orkney’s homes each year was collected for recycling it would save around 324 tonnes of carbon dioxide, the equivalent to taking nearly 70 cars off local roads for a year.**

Used metal packaging can be recycled into new products at a far lower cost to the environment than making them from raw materials. Making drinks cans from recycled metal saves up to 95% of the energy, and greenhouse gas emissions, needed to make both aluminium and steel from raw materials. What’s more, every time metal passes through the recycling loop the benefits are repeated, again and again and again.

Darren Richardson is the Council's Head of Infrastructure and Strategic Projects. He said: “Orkney residents are already committed to recycling and reducing waste which is great news. We want to encourage our residents to think about metal packaging found throughout their home, not just in the kitchen but in the bathroom, and bedroom. Food and drink cans, foil and empty aerosols are all easily and endlessly recyclable. Don’t forget every can recycled saves enough energy to run a TV for four hours – so a small action like putting your empty bean tin into your green recycling bin or your local communal recycling bank can make a big difference."

MetalMatters campaigns have run in 81 local authority areas and reached over 5 million households since 2012.  The Orkney campaign is being jointly funded by MetalMatters, an industry partnership comprising the UK’s leading producers, users and recyclers of metal packaging and Orkney Islands Council. The MetalMatters programme is managed by the Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation (Alupro) on behalf of the funding partners.

Rick Hindley, executive director of project managers Alupro, said: “It is great to be able to work in partnership with Orkney Islands Council to promote the recycling of metal packaging. This campaign has delivered significant increases in the amount of metal packaging collected for recycling in other parts of the UK, so we are aiming to repeat – and hopefully better this – in Orkney.”

For further information on Alupro contact Amy Billingham at Alupro. Telephone 01527597757 or by email at amyb@alupro.org.uk

Notes to Editors:

About MetalMatters

MetalMatters was developed and is funded by the metal packaging manufacturing industry, reprocessors and fillers. The programme works in partnership with local authorities and their waste collection partners to promote metal packaging recycling, and thereby improve capture rates for metal packaging at the kerbside. The MetalMatters programme is supported by WRAP. MetalMatters is being managed on behalf of the funding partners by the Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation (Alupro).

Number of packaging items is based on: 600 food tins, 380 drinks cans. 182 foil trays and 27 empty aerosols thrown out by an average household annually (1189 items), multiplied by approx. number of households 10,100 in Orkney.

CO2 equivalence based on: The average household consumption of steel and aluminium packaging across 10,100 households in Orkney, 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 from Alupro (contact above).

MetalMatters funding partners (at 1 August 2017)

Industry organisations:

  • Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation (Alupro).
  • Beverage Can Makers Europe (BCME).
  • British Aerosol Manufacturers Association (BAMA).
  • Metal Packaging Manufacturers Association (MPMA).
  • European Aluminium Association (EAA).

Metal Reprocessors:

  • Novelis UK Ltd.
  • Tata Steel.

Foil container manufacturers:

  • Coppice Alupack.
  • Nicholl Food Packaging.
  • i2r Packaging Solution.

Household foil manufacturers:

  • Wrap Film Systems.
  • WrapEx Ltd.
  • ITS.

Metal Packaging manufacturers:

  • Ardagh Group.
  • Guala Closures.


  • Unilever.

School Place, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1NY

Telephone: 01856 873535

Email: customerservice@orkney.gov.uk

Orkney Islands Council: BOREAS DOMUS MARE AMICUS