Current Recycling Initiatives

The metal can industry has over decades invested millions of dollars to increase awareness about the importance and positive impact of recycling cans and to build upon the can’s leading recycling rates among all food and beverage containers. 


Aluminum Beverage Can Recycling Rate Targets. CMI beverage can manufacturer and aluminum can sheet producer members have committed to achieving ambitious U.S. recycling rate targets including a 70 percent recycling rate by 2030. These targets will improve the circularity of the aluminum beverage can while demonstrating to beverage companies and consumers the industry’s dedication to ensuring the aluminum beverage can remains the most sustainable package on the market. CMI believes it will achieve its aluminum beverage can recycling rate goals through activities in four pillars of action. Visit cancentral.com/targets to learn more. 

  


Aluminum Can Capture Equipment in Material Recovery Facilities (MRF). Without used beverage cans (UBC), most MRFs separating single stream recyclables would not be able to operate. UBCs are typically the most valuable commodity in the recycling stream. Yet, up to 25 percent of cans are missorted at the MRF into the bales of other commodities such as plastic PET bottles and mixed paper, as well as the non-recyclable pile. CMI has worked with a coalition to make capital available and take other action to get additional can capture equipment in MRFs to prevent can missorting. There have been four grantees in the program: City of Milwaukee/Waukesha County, Milwaukee, WI; Curbside Management, Ashville, NC; GEL Recycling, Port Orange, FL and Independent Texas Recyclers, Houston, TX. Collectively, the equipment installed from the first four grants will result in an additional 67 million aluminum cans recycled every year. The impact of 67 million aluminum beverage cans recycled is more than $1 million in revenue for the U.S. recycling system and energy savings that could power more than 26 million U.S. homes for one hour.  Visit cancentral.com/cansdriverecycling to read CMI’s full report on the opportunity, see an infographic depicting the opportunity, watch a webinar about the opportunity featuring the insights of MRF operators, government representatives and investors and see the press releases of the individual grant recipients. 


Beverage Container Deposits. Deposit return programs play a vital role in raising the aluminum can’s recycling rate. A national deposit rate could have significant climate, economic and industry opportunities. CMI and its aluminum can sheet suppliers have developed key elements that are essential for well-designed deposit systems at the state and federal levels. These elements are based on our principles, which we continue to refine as we learn more and through dialogue with key partners. Read more about them on cancentral.com/deposits.


Metal Recycles ForeverTM Logo. The can industry is working to increase awareness of Metal Recycles Forever among consumers by having food and beverage companies place the Metal Recycles ForeverTM logo on cans. This logo aligns with global messaging that has informed and inspired consumers. It also is supported by recent Penn State University research that finds recycling messaging that emphasizes the transformational nature of the material leads to higher recycling rates. It is not surprising that 70 percent of U.S. consumers said seeing the Metal Recycles ForeverTM logo would motivate them to recycle the packaging. You can view this document to learn more about the benefits of using the Metal Recycles ForeverTM logo on cans. Please contact Scott Breen, CMI’s vice president of sustainability, at sbreen@cancentral.com if you are interested in using the Metal Recycles ForeverTM logo.