April 23, 2018
The New York Times
242 W 41st St
New York, NY 10036
Dear Ms. Hu,
In response to your article “Could New York City Parks Be Going Plastic-Free,” published on April 20, 2018, in the New York Times, there is an obvious solution for consumers and the environment—the highly recycled aluminum beverage can!
Aluminum beverage cans are the most recycled beverage package in the world. In the United States, our recycling rate-49 percent in 2016- compares quite favorable in regards to other materials in the beverage space, including plastic and glass, due to aluminum’s high intrinsic value. It is this value that makes aluminum cans attractive to recyclers, consumers and retailers.
Cans are the solution to the City’s problems with trash bins overflowing with plastic bottles. The scrap value of aluminum, at approximately $1,400 per ton compared to $385 per ton for PET plastic, is so high that aluminum recycling often funds entire recycling programs. Aluminum beverage cans are endlessly recycled without loss of strength or quality, which is why aluminum is used in making new cans, cars, buildings and bicycles.
Unlike PET bottles, aluminum beverage cans may be recycled again and again, forever. Cans aren’t downcycled into materials that will eventually be incinerated or landfilled. Metal is a permanent material that is kept in an infinite use loop, as long as consumers and industry continue to recycle it. In fact, a beverage can put in a recycling bin will be back on store shelves in as little as 60 days.
We encourage New Yorkers to choose cans when deciding on their beverages.