New Analysis Shows Significant Economic and Environmental Benefits of Increasing U.S. Aluminum Can Recycling Rate

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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.

Forward-looking statements
This release contains “forward-looking” statements regarding future events and financial performance. Words such as “expects”, “anticipates”, “estimates”, “believes” and similar expressions generally identify forward-looking statements, which are generally statements other than statements of historical fact. These statements are based on current expectations or outlook and are subject to risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those expressed or implied. You should therefore not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements and they should be read in conjunction with, and qualified in their entirety by, the cautionary statements referenced below. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. The key factors, risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ are summarized in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including Schedule 99 to our Form 10-K, which are available on our website and at www.sec.gov. Other factors that may affect: a) our packaging segments include product capacity, supply and demand constraints, and fluctuations and changes in consumer habits; availability/cost of raw materials, equipment and logistics; competitive packaging, pricing and substitution; climate and weather changes; footprint adjustments and other manufacturing changes, including the start-up of new facilities and lines; failure to realize synergies, productivity improvements or cost reductions; unfavorable deposit or packaging laws; customer and supplier consolidation; food and supply chain disruptions; changes in major contracts with customers or suppliers or the loss of a significant customer or supplier; inability to pass on increased costs; war, political instability and sanctions, including related to the situation in Russia and Ukraine and its impact on our supply chain and our ability to operate in Russia and the EMEA region in general; changes in exchange rates or tax rates; and tariffs, trade or other government actions, including trade restrictions and shelter-in-place orders in any country or jurisdiction affecting the goods we produce or in our supply chain, including materials first imported; (b) our aerospace segment includes funding, licensing, availability and returns for government and commercial contracts; and delays, extensions and technical uncertainties affecting segment contracts; c) the Company as a whole includes those listed above plus: the extent to which opportunities related to sustainable development arise and can be exploited; changes in senior management, succession and the ability to attract and retain a skilled workforce; regulatory actions or issues, including those related to taxation, ESG reporting, competition, environment, occupational health and safety, including the U.S. FDA and other public actions or concerns affecting the products filled in our containers, or the chemicals or substances used in the raw materials or in the manufacturing process; technological developments and innovations; the ability to manage cyber threats; litigation; strikes; disease; pandemic; changes in labor costs; inflation; rates of return on assets of the Company’s defined benefit pension plans; pension changes; uncertainties surrounding geopolitical events and government policies, including policies, orders and actions related to COVID-19; reduced cash; interest rates affecting our debt; and successful and unsuccessful joint ventures, acquisitions and divestitures, and their effects on our results of operations and our business generally.

SOURCE Ball Corporation

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