Do you know that each year County Durham gets through 287 million cans, foil trays and aerosols?

Annually, the average household uses 600 food tins, 380 drink cans, 27 aerosols and 182 foil trays. But, tragically, less than half of these items are recycled.

If all the metal packaging used in County Durham each year was recycled, it would save an incredible 7,773 tonnes of carbon dioxide from going into the atmosphere. That would be equivalent to 1,650 cars being removed from the road.

In an attempt to address this issue, Durham County Council has got together with metal packaging manufacturers to launch the Make Your Metal Matter campaign.

The council will be sending out leaflets to every home explaining how to ensure more metal gets recycled.

Durham County Council’s head of direct services, Oliver Sherratt, said, “Our residents are already committed to recycling and reducing waste, which is great news.”

“We want to encourage all our residents to think about metal packaging found throughout the home, not just in the kitchen, but also in the bedroom, bathroom and garage.”

“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 such as putting your empty baked bean tin into your blue-lidded recycling bin can make a big difference.”

Recycling used metal into new products causes much less damage to the environment and uses up far less energy than making the same products from raw materials.

Making a can from recycled materials uses only 5% as much energy and causes 95% less greenhouse gases than making a can with steel or aluminium produced from scratch.

The Make Your Metal Matter campaign will remind residents to recycle all the metal packaging items that can be found around their homes. Such items include:

  • Food and drink cans
  • Foil trays
  • Empty aerosols
  • The aluminium foil that is used for baking or wrapping food
  • Metal biscuit and sweet tins

The campaign is being jointly funded by Durham County Council and by the MetalMatters programme, which is managed by the Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation (Alupro).

Alupro’s executive director, Rick Hindley, said, “It is great to be able to work in partnership with Durham County 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 County Durham.”

To learn more, please go to or visit the Recycle for County Durham Facebook page at

Get Durham Magazine direct to your inbox

* indicates required


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here