Americans Recycled Two of Every Three Aluminum
Cans in 2000
Washington, DC - Americans recycled 62. 6 billion aluminum cans
in 2000, for a beverage can recycling rate of 62.1 percent or
nearly two of every three aluminum cans.
The annual statistics were released by the three organizations
representing the aluminum can recycling industry: The Aluminum
Association; the Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI); and the Institute
of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI).
"While the aluminum can is still the leader in packaging recycling,
and has been for more than 20 years, our member companies are
on a mission to increase consumer interest in recycling," said
Dick Kerr, chairman of the association and president of IMCO Recycling
"The demand for aluminum cans remains strong and the industry
remains committed to recycling every can returned," said Robert
Budway, president of the Can Manufacturers Institute. "The closed-loop
process of turning a can into a can with no loss in quality represents
recycling at its finest." In the United States, 100.8 billion
cans were produced in 2000, with 62.6 billion aluminum cans recycled-some
1.9 billion pounds.
"The recycling infrastructure is so efficient that it can take
as few as 60 days for an aluminum can to be collected, melted,
processed, manufactured into a new can, filled, and stocked on
a retailer's shelf," said Robin Wiener, president of the Institute
of Scrap Recycling Industries. " Recycling also is energy efficient.
Aluminum can recycling saves about 95 percent of the energy required
to produce aluminum from ore."
Aluminum cans almost exclusively represent the metal beverage
can market in America. The average aluminum beverage can is comprised
of more than 51 percent recycled content.
Aluminum cans are the most valuable and recyclable package. In
2000, the industry paid out $1.2 billion to recyclers for their
used aluminum beverage cans. The recycling proceeds are invested
into local economies benefiting individuals, municipalities, schools,
churches, scout troops and non-profit organizations.
For many groups, used aluminum cans turn into new-found money
thanks to aluminum can industry initiatives. Initiatives include
the Aluminum Association's partnership with Habitat for Humanity
called "Aluminum Cans Build Habitat for Humanity Homes," designed
to boost public interest in aluminum can recycling while helping
volunteers and families build homes with Habitat; and CMI's "Cans
for Cash," a comprehensive recycling fundraising and educational
program involving thousands of students and community groups nationwide.
In 2000, the number of cans manufactured per pound of aluminum
rose slightly to 33.12. The can industry continues its source-reduction
achievement in the form of "lightweighting"-making more aluminum
cans with less aluminum-resulting in a ten percent savings in
the number of cans per pound in just six years when 30.13 cans
equaled a pound.