When a recycled material is used to make a new product, natural resources and energy are conserved. In the words of the coordinator for the first Earth Day (April 22, 1970) environmental advocate Denis Hayes said: “Listen up, you couch potatoes; each recycled beer can saves enough electricity to run a television for three hours.” In the same vein, manufacturing with recycled aluminium cans uses 95% less energy than creating the same amount of aluminium with bauxite, experts note.
Moreover, there is the potential for essentially all of the aluminium in beverage cans to be recycled multiple times, generating significant environmental and economic benefits, note Scott Breen, vice president of sustainability, and Sherrie Rosenblatt, vice president of marketing and communications, at the Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI), Washington DC.
“It is no surprise that beer, energy, health and soft drink beverage companies are enjoying the many benefits of the aluminium can, which has the highest recycling rate among all beverage packaging,” Breen and Rosenblatt say. “In CMI’s latest can shipment reports, aluminium can production in the United States and Canada increased 3.5%.
“There are many sustainability advantages to packaging beverages in an aluminium can. Compared to plastic PET or glass bottles, aluminium cans lead the way in the key measures of recycling rate, recycled content and value per ton,” they continue. “An industry-leading 45% of aluminium cans are being recycled and an average 93% of recycled cans will end up as new cans, typically in as little as 60 days. As a result, the US beverage can on average is made up of 73% recycled aluminium. This continuous circular journey happens over and over again because metal recycles forever.”
Recent trends indicate that more than 70% of new beverage product introductions are in aluminium cans and long-standing customers are moving away from plastic bottles and other packaging substrates to cans due to environmental concerns. For aluminium bottles we expect to witness a surge in demand and growth in the next five to 10 years. BeverageIndustry