Aluminum Can Industry Collects Over 140 Million Cans, Raises More Than $150,000 For Charity

Rexam Wins Top Three Spots in Intra-Industry Recycling Contest

Washington - The aluminum beverage can industry collected and recycled approximately 140 million cans and raised more than $150,000 for charities across the country through a competition among can companies and aluminum suppliers, the Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI) announced today.

The Rexam beverage can manufacturing plant in Chatsworth, CA, won first place in the competition, with more than 55 million cans collected and recycled. Second and third place went to Rexam's Fairfield, Calif., and St. Paul, Minn., plants, which collected approximately 31 million and 21 million cans, respectively.

"We're proud to team with our industry and local communities to support recycling," said Andre Balbi, president and CEO, Rexam Beverage Can Americas. "Our manufacturing plants are setting a positive example in our communities, showing how the aluminum beverage can is the best choice for environmental-friendliness and sustainability." 

The contest, the America Recycles Day Challenge, took place over 76 days and involved 55 facilities, including plants and corporate offices of aluminum companies - Alcoa Inc., Arco Aluminum and Novelis - and can manufacturers - Ball Corporation, Metal Container Corporation and Rexam. The individual facilities partnered with schools and local organizations to collect and recycle used beverage cans. Proceeds from the effort will benefit Habitat for Humanity, the American Red Cross, Boys and Girls Clubs, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Toys for Tots and other charities throughout the U.S.

"This was a great team effort and every participating company, facility and employee should be proud of the difference we have made in our local communities and for our environment," said Robert Budway, president of CMI. "Through this effort we diverted more than four million pounds of cans out of the waste stream and back into new products, and in so doing we raised a lot of money for a lot of worthy causes."

With a recycling rate of 57.4 percent, aluminum cans are the most recycled of all beverage containers. Aluminum cans are "infinitely recyclable" and can be recycled into new cans and put back on store shelves in as few as 60 days. And can recycling benefits the environment in ways that extend beyond just minimizing landfill waste. For example, producing a can with recycled content requires 95 percent less energy than making that same can out of raw material. This in turn conserves energy, reduces greenhouse gas emissions and saves money.

"You could not do a fund-raising competition of this sort using any other beverage container," said Budway. "Aluminum cans are unique in the beverage industry in that they are enormously valuable and recycling centers pay good money to buy them back and turn them into new cans. Indeed the money earned by recycling beverage and food cans generally helps fund the recycling of other materials in the waste stream. So it's not surprising that cans are by far the most recycled containers."

The annual America Recycles Day Challenge was launched in 2003 with a goal of raising recycling awareness and giving back to local communities. Since the program's inception, more than 290 million cans have been recycled.

About The Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI) 
CMI is the national trade association of the metal can manufacturing industry and its suppliers in the United States. CMI members account for the annual domestic production of 130 billion food, beverage and general line metal cans. Together, they employ approximately 32,000 workers and operate nearly 150 plants in 36 states. For more information, visit

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