Aluminum Can Recycling Rate Reaches 65 Percent

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Americans recycled 61 billion cans in 2011, according to new statistics.

Aluminum cans are now officially the world’s most recycled beverage container, according to new statistics released by the Aluminum Association, Can Manufacturers Institute and the Institute of Scrap Recycling.

There was a seven percent increase in aluminum can recycling from 2010’s 58.1 percent to 2011’s 65.1 percent figures. The number of recycled aluminum cans doubled that of any other beverage container, including plastic water bottles. This puts the industry on the right track toward reaching its goal of a 75 percent recycling rate by 2015.

“We are excited to have made strong progress toward our goal to increase the aluminum can recycling rate to 75 percent,” said Heidi Brock, president of the Aluminum Association, in a press release. “But we need the help of every American to continue to raise the rate. There is much more work still to be done here in the United States to reach our goal by 2015.”

Recycling 101: Aluminum Cans

Consumer and corporate responsibility are the main factors in ensuring cans are recycled. The industry plans on meeting its 75 percent recycling goal by expanding public information that aluminum is a resource that can be recycled endlessly. Cans that are made from recycled material take 95 percent less energy to manufacture than those manufactured from virgin material.

The energy saved from can recycling in 2011 is the energy equivalent of saving 17 million barrels of crude oil, which is the same amount of energy it takes to produce the 29 billion plastic bottles Americans use each year, according to Allison Buchanan, the Aluminum Association’s can committee chair.

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