MORE than 55 million metal cans, foil trays and aerosols used every year in West Dunbartonshire, it has been revealed.

In a bid to boost recycling, the council has launched a campaign aimed at making sure every relevant makes it into a blue household recycling bin.

The council has teamed up with the metal packaging manufacturing and recycling industry to launch the Make Your Metals Matter campaign which will reach all 46,500 households across the area.

Residents can look out for leaflets, which will be sent to every home, as well as cinema advertising, online advertising, recycling vehicle signage, roadshows for residents and a social media campaign.

The aim of the campaign is to remind residents to recycle all of the metal packaging found around their home, including drink cans; foil trays; empty aerosols; metal screw tops; and household foil.

If all of the metal packaging used in local homes each year was collected for recycling, it would save around 1492 tonnes of carbon dioxide ? the equivalent to taking 317 cars off local streets for a year.

Used metal packaging can be recycled into new products at a far lower cost to the environment than making them from raw materials.

Making drinks cans from recycled metal saves up to 95 per cent of the energy and greenhouse gas emissions needed to make both aluminium and steel from raw materials. What’s more, every time metal passes through the recycling loop the benefits are repeated.

Councillor Iain McLaren, the council’s convener of regeneration, infrastructure and economic development, said: “West Dunbartonshire residents are already committed to recycling and reducing waste with a current recycling rate of 49 per cent, which is great news. But we want to encourage our residents to think about metal packaging found throughout their home, not just in the kitchen but in the bathroom and bedroom.

“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 like putting your empty bean tin into your blue bin can make a big difference.”

Councillor Diane Docherty, vice convener of regeneration, infrastructure and economic development, added: “We have very ambitious recycling targets in Scotland and, as a council, we are determined to do everything we can to help achieve them.

"Looking at the statistics, it’s quite amazing just how much good can come from recycling metal and we are delighted to be launching the Make Your Metals Matter campaign here in West Dunbartonshire. I hope we can get as many people involved as possible.”

Similar campaigns have run in 81 local authority areas and reached over 5 million households since 2012.

The West Dunbartonshire campaign is being jointly funded by the Council and MetalMatters, an industry partnership comprising the UK’s leading producers, users and recyclers of metal packaging.

The MetalMatters programme is managed by the Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation (Alupro) on behalf of the funding partners.

Rick Hindley, executive director of project managers Alupro, said: “It is great to be able to work in partnership with West Dunbartonshire 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 the West Dunbartonshire area.”