Aluminum Beverage Can Recycling Rate Rising
51.2 Percent of Aluminum Cans Recycled in 2004
Washington, D.C., May 20, 2005 - The Aluminum Association, Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI), and Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) today released statistics indicating that Americans and the can recycling industries recycled 51.5 billion aluminum cans in 2004, for a beverage can recycling rate of 51.2 percent. This reflects a 1.2 percent increase over the 2003 rate and the first increase since 1997.
The aluminum beverage can is the most recycled consumer beverage container in the United States. It amounts to more than twice the recycling rate for beverage packages of other materials.
"This rising rate reflects the high value of aluminum recycling," said Craig P. Eddy, chairman of The Aluminum Association and president and chief executive officer of Coastal Aluminum Rolling Mills, Inc. "There are tremendous social, economic and environmental benefits to recycling aluminum cans. We encourage consumers to contribute to a sustainable environment by purchasing and recycling aluminum cans."
"Through such initiatives as Cans for Habitat, a recycling partnership with The Aluminum Association and Habitat for Humanity, as well as a joint public service campaign with Nickelodeon, utilizing animated character Jimmy Neutron, The Aluminum Association and its allied organizations work to stress the environmental and economic value of recycling aluminum cans," said Eddy.
Recycling is offered through curbside pick-up to approximately half of Americans, through drop off and "buy back" centers located in most towns, and by donating cans to charitable organizations.
"We are very pleased in the increase in recycling rates," said Bill Barker, group director, Global Beverage Cans, Rexam, and chairman of the Can Manufacturers Institute. "But there is still much work to do. We are looking forward to working with the aluminum sheet suppliers, the beverage marketers and legislators to promote the values of recycling to consumers to keep this momentum."
The aluminum beverage can is 100 percent recyclable into new beverage cans indefinitely -- demonstrating recycling at its finest. Aluminum can recycling helps fund the entire collection system. The aluminum can is the only packaging material that more than covers the cost of collection and re-processing for itself. It also helps subsidize the collection of other recyclable materials.
Recycling saves energy. Recycling 40 aluminum beverage cans has the energy-saving equivalent of one gallon of gasoline. During 2004, Americans recycled enough aluminum cans to conserve the energy equivalent of over 15 million barrels of oil.
The Aluminum Association and CMI formed a joint committee called, the Aluminum Can Council (ACC) to explore and implement new programs to increase consumer interest in aluminum cans and recycling. The ACC’s Curbside Value Partnership program is helping communities promote curbside recycling to households, and their systems with value-based measurement for tracking improvement. Other ACC programs include can advertising, recycling promotion, student environmental education programs, school and civic organization collection programs, and other projects. The ACC recognizes and promotes the value and importance of recycling.
The aluminum can is a leader in recycling and has been for more than 20 years. In the United States, 100.5 billion cans were produced in 2004. 51.5 billion aluminum cans were recycled, equaling some 1.51 billion pounds.
Robin Wiener, president of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, noted the efficiency of the aluminum can recycling process. "Recycling beverage cans saves energy and money in the production of new products. By recycling beverage cans, the public has the opportunity to simultaneously make a positive contribution to cleaner air, energy efficiency, and reduced landfill use. The industry has done its part by designing cans to be easily recyclable. The public must do its part to help by recycling even more."
Aluminum Can Reclamation
Source: The Aluminum Association, Inc.
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Related FilesCan recycling rate 2004 (Adobe PDF File)