Recyclers of aluminium drinks cans and clean foil have caused a massive quarter of a million trees to be grown in the UK and Africa since 2004, thanks to a programme run by not for profit organisation, Alupro. A tree is grown for every tonne of aluminium recycled, with the recycling rate now 57% higher than when the programme started (35,900 tonnes in 2004 to 54,656 tonnes recycled in the 12 months to end June 2009).
“This is a fantastic result, and a great credit to UK recyclers,” says Alupro executive director Rick Hindley. “Recycling aluminium is 20 times more energy and carbon efficient than making it from the raw material, bauxite, and our tree growing programme helps highlight to consumers that the benefits of recycling go beyond managing household waste efficiently.”
Alupro’s current fruit tree programme with British charity Ripple Africa in Malawi is now entering its third year, with 150,000 fruit trees already grown in 100 community nurseries in an area to the north of the country. Around two-thirds of the trees are native guava and paw paw for local consumption, with up to a third of the trees resulting from grafting larger, juicier improved mango and orange species on to local lemon rootstock. Once cropping begins as the trees mature, small business enterprises will be encouraged which will dry and juice the fruits – helping provide much needed income to the area.