The UK's recycling rate for aluminium packaging in fiscal 2015 includes more than 10,000t of unreported material, according to the Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation (Alupro).
A study commissioned by Alupro and undertaken by Resource Futures, an independent environmental consultancy, confirmed that the recycling rate for aluminium drink cans has increased from 60% to 69%.
The study revealed that at least 10,000t of aluminium packaging was not recorded by the packaging recycling notes (PRN) system in 2015.
Alupro executive director Rick Hindley said: "Our research clearly demonstrates the need to encourage more reprocessors to become accredited to ensure that the PRN system provides an accurate record of recycling performance.
"It sets a clear benchmark for our sector and we will use our findings to focus on what needs to be done to meet the ambitious new material recovery targets proposed under the EU Circular Economy package.
"It is also vital that the measurement system we use in the UK for calculating recycling performance is aligned to the methodology used throughout Europe."
The study indicated that an estimated 86,200t was collected for recycling, equating to an overall 55% recycling rate for 2015.
Alupro manages the MetalMatters and Every Can Counts programmes, which are funded by metal packaging manufacturers, reprocessors and leading brands.
Image: Study reveals 'real' aluminium packaging recycling rate. Photo: courtesy of Alupro UK.