IAI study highlights vital role of aluminum cans in a circular economy

On behalf of the IAI, Eunomia Research and Consulting data studied in five regions: Brazil, China, Europe, Japan and the United States. It examined the end-of-life processing losses of aluminum cans, glass bottles and plastic bottles (polyethylene terephthalate – PET). The study also covered collection, sorting, reprocessing and thermal treatment, closed-loop recycling and open-loop recycling.

Ramon ArratiaVice President of Global Public Affairs at Ball Corporation, noted that “While no beverage container has yet reached its full circularity potential, aluminum outperforms glass and plastic (PET) at all stages of the waste management system. Aluminum cans are the most recycled beverage containers in the world.Once the aluminum can is collected from the consumer, it has an unmatched sorting, reprocessing and remelting efficiency rate of 90% compared to glass (67 %) and PET (66%). As such, aluminum can be called the material of choice for a circular economy. This is particularly important when we look at the carbon reduction potential of recycling.”

Andre BoisGroup Executive Strategy & Business Development at Alumina Limited, said “The number of aluminum cans collected at end of life is around 18% higher than PET bottles and 28% higher than glass bottles. A higher proportion of single-use PET and glass bottles end up in landfills or waterways because they don’t In a decarbonizing world, this will likely contribute to increased demand for recycled and primary aluminum.”

The aluminum can was first mass-produced by Coors Brewing Company in the 1950s to improve the taste of beer and provide a more durable container than steel cans. So it’s reassuring to see from this study that the environmental goals of that revolutionary new product all those years ago are still being realized.

Marlene BertramIAI Director, Scenarios and Forecastsdeclares: “As the Institute celebrates its 50and anniversary this year, we reflected on our organization’s long history of data collection, analysis and modeling. Aluminum is one of the most recyclable materials on the planet and the IAI campaigns to ensure end-of-life products are returned to the recycling loop given the economic and environmental benefits of the metal in our global economy. Comparing the recycling rates of different materials is meaningless if you don’t know how the rate is measured and what products the material is recycled into. This study is the first public study that comprehensively analyzes the extent of recycling and loss of three beverage containers in different regions. By increasing the precision of the identification of major losses, the study could provide solutions to improve the recycling rate of all materials. We are clearly in a new era of circular transparency.”

Emilio Braghi, Executive Vice President of Novelis and President of Novelis Europe said “Collection and sorting systems are key to increasing circularity and unlocking the full potential of infinitely recyclable materials. We need a policy framework that incentivizes true recycling and circular systems, where to At the end of their life, beverage containers are recycled again and again – with no loss of quality. Aluminum is perfectly suited for multiple recycling from product to product. We need to shift our thinking from waste to valuable resources – reusing the existing materials to produce new packaging and thereby save valuable natural resources, energy and reduce emissions.”

You can read more about the results of this study in our fact sheet, A case of circularity for aluminum versus glass and plastic and visit alucycle.international-aluminium.org.

About the IAI
The International Aluminum Institute (IAI) is the sole body representing the global primary aluminum industry. The Institute has the most comprehensive global data on aluminum with over 40 years of analysis on production, consumption, energy consumption and environmental impact. For more information, visit international-aluminium.org, or connect with us on LinkedIn or Twitter

About Ball Corporation
Ball Corporation provides innovative and sustainable aluminum packaging solutions for customers in beverage, personal care and household products, as well as aerospace and other technologies and services. Ball Corporation and its subsidiaries employ 24,300 people worldwide and had net sales in 2021 of $13.8 billion. For more information, visit www.ball.comor connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.

About Alumina Ltd.
Alumina Ltd is an Australian company that holds a 40% stake in the global joint venture AWAC, one of the world’s largest producers of bauxite and alumina, managed and 60% owned by Alcoa Corp. AWAC also owns an interest in the Portland aluminum smelter and had an EBITDA of $1.146 billion in 2021. For more information, visit www.aluminalimited.com.

About Novélis
Novelis is the leading producer of flat-rolled aluminum products and the largest recycler of aluminum in the world. In line with its goal of shaping a sustainable world together, the ambition is to be the world’s leading provider of sustainable, low-carbon aluminum solutions that advance business, industry and society towards the benefits of a circular economy. With state-of-the-art sheet metal production lines and recycling centers in North America, South America, Europe and AsiaNovelis serves the world’s most recognized brands.

Infographics – https://mma.prnewswire.com/media/1765990/IAI_Infographic.jpg

SOURCE International Aluminum Institute

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