Italy: an excellence in the recycling of aluminium packaging. The 2018 results.

CIAL has released its data for 2018: 80% of the packaging placed on the market has been recycled

54,300 tons of aluminium packaging recycled in 2018, representing 80.2% of the total 67,700 tons of aluminium entering the market. 4,300 tons of thin packaging destined for waste-to-energy treatment. With these numbers for 2018, Italy is once again recognized as a european excellence.

These are the main figures that were announced at the 2018 annual meeting of the 256 companies in the consortium at CIAL [Italian national consortium for aluminium packaging recycling] held in Milan on May 10th.

A similar result is essential for a country whose aluminium production is 100% based on recycling: it avoided greenhouse emissions for 403 thousand tons of CO2, while saving energy for over 173 thousand tons of oil equivalent. This was all made possible thanks to the collective effort of institutions, companies, operators, citizens and municipalities.

In particular, over 5,200 municipalities and 44 million citizens are actively participating in the aluminium waste separation. CIAL collaborates with them as part of the Anci-Conai Framework Agreement throughout the national territory.

Carmine Bruno Rea - Presidente CiAL

“In recent years, the national system of aluminium packaging management has reached an astounding level of maturity and efficiency, and the 80% recycling quota proves it. It is an improvement that guarantees additional increases in quality and quantity for the future, especially in territories where further growth is achievable”, CIAL President Bruno Rea stated during the Assembly. “We are aware that the development process has reached the turning point, and the proof lies in the main regions of Southern Italy, although admittedly not all of them: they have shown increasing performances, and they will soon be able to close the gap separating them from the most developed areas“.

The commitment of CIAL in this field has been translated into a type of personalized support that goes beyond the mere issuing of economic fees for the material collected and conferred. The focus is rather to guarantee the identification of the best options to maximize the amount of aluminium recovered in different territorial contexts.

CIAL has been working for years to reaffirm the commitment of citizens, Municipalities and operators in different ways: the use of reward and incentive-based systems according to the increasing levels of quantity and quality, the support in the implementation of new technologies for the selection, supplementary solutions to waste separation in order to guarantee the identification of traces of erroneously categorized waste material, as well as the recovery option for the aluminium fraction from the waste screening of the recycling sorting plants.

“A further element that raises both satisfaction and awareness on the line of action undertaken by our ConsortiumRea continuesis the comparison of our results with the amount of recycling achieved over the years by other countries of the European Union. We have been comparing data while often collaborating by sharing research and development projects for some time now. Speaking of which, an interesting aspect to underline is that, unlike the other countries, the Italian system is based on the collection and recovery of all types of packaging, and it does not include only those types that can be more easily exploited in economic terms. This is clearly a key aspect that affirms our system’s ability to best combine economic-managerial efficiency with corporate socio-environmental responsibility“.


CIAL figures and results for 2018

  • 256 companies in the consortium. 
  • 378 affiliated entities, 211 platforms and 13 smelting centres throughout the country ensure the collection, treatment, recycling and recovery of the aluminium.
  • 5,200 Municipalities (over 74% of all active Italian municipalities) collaborating with CIAL in the waste separation of aluminium packaging, with 44 million citizens involved (80% of the Italian citizens).
  • 19% increase in separate waste collection compared to the previous year.
  • Quantity of aluminium packaging entering the Italian market: 67,700 tonnes.
  • Total recovery of aluminium packaging in Italy (recycling share + share of packaging sent for energy recovery): 58,600 tonnes.
    Recycling: 54,300 tons of aluminium packaging, equivalent to 80.2% of market quantity
    Energy recovery: 4,300 tons (share of thin packaging that goes to waste-to-energy plants)
  • The recycling of 54,300 tons of aluminium packaging avoided greenhouse emissions for 403 thousand tons of CO2, while saving energy for over 173 thousand tons of oil equivalent.

Aluminium and Circular Economy

  • Aluminium is 100%, infinitely recyclable.
  • Aluminium recycling guarantees energy savings of 95%, comparing to traditional processes.
  • Today, 75% of all the aluminium ever produced in the world is still in use.
  • The highest amount of aluminium per capita in the world is recycled in Europe.
  • Today, Italian production is 100% based on recycling.
  • Italy is among the best countries in Europe for the amount of recycled aluminium produced.