It sounds unlikely that the more aluminium you recycle, the more trees will be planted in Africa, but Alupro is running a new programme to tackle deforestation in Malawi while at the same time providing the means to create small businesses in rural areas.
About 43 million tonnes of aluminium is produced annually, 30% of which is recycled. In the UK 99% of aluminium used in packaging is consumer packaging, from drinks cans, takeaway containers, to lids from yogurt pots.
Alupro is providing core funding for the next two years and for every tonne of recycled aluminium in this country, a tree will be grown. They are hoping that it will mean 85,000 trees over the two years, providing 15 jobs, and training programmes for around 25 volunteers at each of the 75 village nurseries.
Working with Ripple Africa in Malawi, they will establish a special nursery to grow fruit trees such as mango, lemon, orange and avocado from grafting. Others such as pawpaw and guava will be grown from seed.
Alupro has been running similar schemes since 2003, resulting in 100,000 trees being planted in the UK and in Burkina Faso in Africa. In the meantime the amount of aluminium recycled has increased by 47%. I feel sure this could be increased still further if local authorities such as ours could be persuaded to collect more than just aluminium cans.
Images from Alupro where there are many more facts and figures.