Environmental Protection

Aluminum Can Recycling Up 2.2% in 2007

The Aluminum Association, Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI), and Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries announced a 2.2 percentage point increase in aluminum can recycling rates, the largest gain in recycling rates in 10 years.

In 2007, Americans and the aluminum industry recycled nearly 54 billion infinitely recyclable aluminum cans, nearly 2 billion more than in 2006. At a recycling rate of 53.8 percent, the aluminum can is by far the most recycled beverage container in the United States.

"The practice of recycling aluminum cans provides environmental, economic, and social benefits to communities and organizations across the country," said Robert Budway, CMI president. "Recycling saves energy. Recycling 40 aluminum beverage cans has the energy-saving equivalent of one gallon of gasoline. During 2007, Americans recycled enough aluminum cans to conserve the energy equivalent of over 15 million barrels of oil."

The Aluminum Can Council, made up of members from both The Aluminum Association and CMI -- Alcoa, Anheuser-Busch Packaging Group, ARCO Aluminum, Ball Corporation, Novelis and REXAM -- supports the Curbside Value Partnership. The program works with material recycling facilities and municipalities, assisting them in making curbside recycling programs more efficient for their communities. Currently, this program has engaged more than 40 communities. Partner communities have seen an average increase of 22 percent in recycling volume and 20 percent in participation.

The aluminum beverage can is 100 percent recyclable into new beverage cans indefinitely – a demonstration of recycling at its finest. Today's lightweight beverage can weighs only 0.468 ounces with 34.17 cans per pound of aluminum. The can is the only beverage container that more than covers the cost of collection and re-processing for itself. It also helps subsidize the collection of other recyclable materials.

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