Increasing the recycling rate for aluminum cans to 90% would generate $6.6 billion for the American economy, create more than 100,000 jobs, preserve 1.3M tonnes of aluminum out of landfills and reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by 12.1M metric tons of CO2e
WESTMINSTER, Col. and ANN ARBOUR, Mich., March 30, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Ball Corporation (NYSE: BLL) and Resource Recycling Systems (RRS), a sustainable materials and resource consulting firm, released a new national study showing the economic and environmental benefits of improving the recycling rate of aluminum cans in United States to 90% – an increase from the current rate of 38%. Infinitely recyclable and economically valuable, aluminum is one of the most sustainable beverage packaging materials and, when recycled, uses 92% less energy than virgin materials and supports a supply increased domestic recycled metal.
In 2021, Ball Corporation released its vision for increased industry circularity in the Towards a Perfect Circle (2021) report. The report details a vision for the industry to achieve a global aluminum recycling rate of 90%. New study from RRS and Ball Corporation demonstrates the environmental and economic impact of achieving this goal in the United States
The new study titled “Recycling Aluminum Cans Is Good Business” indicates that a substantial improvement in the recycling rate of aluminum in the United States would provide the following benefits:
- Contribute 103,800 collection, sorting and reprocessing jobs to the US economy;
- More than double the total salaries of the waste collection and recycling industry $2.1 billion for $5 billion;
- produce $1.6 billion in economic activity through the sale of materials;
- Keeping 1.3 million tons of materials out of landfills each year;
- Save enough energy to power 1.5 million homes for a year; and
- Reduce GHG emissions by 12.1 million MTCO2e per year, which is equivalent to taking 2.6 million cars off the road for one year.
“There is no doubt that there is a market for more recycled aluminum, as well as the potential for huge energy savings and job creation,” noted John HayesPresident of Ball Corporation. “That’s why we’re advocating for smart recycling policies at the state and federal level that can help the United States reduce our dependence on imported materials, strengthen our domestic supply chain, and make those benefits a reality.”
“The benefits of increasing aluminum recycling rates in this country are very clear,” noted Marisa AdlerSenior Consultant, RRS. “It is now up to leaders at the state and federal levels to develop a political roadmap to make the most of this opportunity.”
The “Recycling Aluminum Cans Is Good Business” analysis was compiled using 2021 data from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Aluminum Association and Ball Corporation. The analysis also demonstrates how improved recycling improves our nation’s domestic aluminum supply chain and decreases our reliance on primary aluminum imports. The study includes fact sheets and data for all 50 states, in addition to a national overview.
RRS used state recycling rate data from the 50 States of Recycling (2021) report to determine benchmarks. Notably, while the Aluminum Association reported an aluminum can recycling rate of 45.2%, the RRS analysis uses 38% as a national benchmark to reflect the percentage of aluminum that actually makes it to remelting facilities, after material losses that occur during collection and sorting. Unfortunately, collection and recycling are not synonymous. As detailed in Ball Corporation’s Towards a Perfect Circle report (2021), increasing collection rates exponentially increases the amount of recycled material that is retained in the loop over the long term.
View and download national and state-specific fact sheets here.
About the RRS
Founded in 1986 and based in Ann Arbor, MI, Resource Recycling Systems (RRS) is a sustainability and recycling consultancy that strives to create a world where resources are managed to maximize economic and social benefits while minimizing environmental harm. The company has industry professionals, engineers, economists, technical analysts and communications specialists who share this vision and have fundamental strengths in materials and recovery, life cycle management, applied sustainable design and the development of collaborative actions. www.recycle.com
About Ball Corporation
Ball Corporation provides innovative and sustainable aluminum packaging solutions for beverage, personal care and household products for customers, as well as aerospace and other technologies and services, primarily for the US government. 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.com, or connect with us on Facebook or Twitter.
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SOURCE Ball Corporation