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Alpakka - Circular Aluminium Packaging in Norway

Aluminium is extensively used in food packaging because it provides a unique durability. Longer durability leads to less food wastage.  The challenge is to make sure that the aluminium packaging is reclaimed and goes back into the circuit. The main objective of the Alpakka project is to establish a Norwegian flagship demonstrator for Circular Economy in practice, which will increase the aluminium packaging circularity in Norway byvalue-chain cooperation between collectors, food producers/packaging designers and aluminiumrecyclers as well as through engaging the consumers.

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The project aims to prevent 40.000 tonnes of aluminium from going to waste incineration yearly, corresponding to >1,5 TWh energy savings and several hundred thousand tonnes of CO2 reduction. Partners Metallco Aluminium AS and Infinitum AS will focus on increasing the aluminium packaging collection intensity by benchmarking various existing collection and sorting schemes as well as assessing new innovative approaches. Partner O Kavli AS will together with the other partners and its packaging suppliers obtain a better understanding of the recyclability of the aluminium packaging used for its food products today and subsequently develop an improved design that enables 100% recyclability by 2025. Partners Norsk Hydro ASA and Metallco AS aim to improve its recycling operation through a new sensor-based system for automated furnace charge, which could reduce emissions and energy consumption, increase yield, and enable recycling of aluminium packaging into wrought alloys. Furthermore, Metallco aims to recycle mixed aluminium packaging to cast alloys at a high yield through establishing a new recycling operation. In collaboration with Infinitum AS, Norsk Hydro ASA aims to increase the Used Beverage Cans (UBC) recycling yield by improving the UBC compaction step. NTNU and SINTEF AS will support the above activities, including a PhD project. SINTEF will take a lead role in interlinking the value chain and developing a recommendation for how to best achieve aluminium packaging circularity. Alpakka will also contribute to increased consumer awareness, as well as new jobs in both collection, design and recycling plants in Norway.

The project is funded by the Research Council of Norway

Key Factors

Project duration

2019 - 2022