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Aluminum Can Maintains Position as Most Sustainable Beverage Package - Report

Metal News - Published on Fri, 13 Sep 2019

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A newly released report by the Aluminum Association and the Can Manufacturers Institute shows that aluminum cans continue to outperform competitive packaging types on a number of key sustainability metrics. The new report “The Aluminum Can Advantage: Key Sustainability Performance Indicators 2019” finds that consumers recycle aluminum cans at nearly double the rate of glass or plastic bottles and that average recycled content for an aluminum can produced in the United States rose from 70 to 73%, compared to 23% for glass and 3% for plastic. In addition, the report found that the aluminum can scrap is dramatically more valuable than glass or plastic in the recycling bin. Because of this, aluminum effectively subsidizes the recycling of less valuable material in the recycling stream.

Key findings in the 2019 report include:

The industry recycling rate, which factors in used beverage container imports and exports, remained basically steady in 2017 and 2018 at 63.3 and 63.6% respectively. This exceeds the 20-year average industry recycling rate of 59.1% and is an indicator of the industry’s commitment to using recycled material in aluminum can production.

The consumer recycling rate for aluminum beverage cans jumped nearly 5 points to 49.8% in 2018 from 45.1% in 2017. The 20-year average for the aluminum can recycling rate is 50.1%.

The average recycled content of an aluminum can (last updated in 2014) rose from 70 to 73% far exceeding rival packaging types such as glass and plastic.

The aluminum can remains by far the most valuable package in the recycling bin, with a value per ton of USD 1,317 per tonne compared to USD 299 per tonne for plastic and a negative value of USD 20 per tonne for glass.

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Posted By : Rabi Wangkhem on Fri, 13 Sep 2019
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