Country for PR: United Kingdom
Contributor: PR Newswire Europe
Tuesday, March 15 2022 - 12:00
IAI Study Highlights Vital Role Of Aluminium Cans In A Circular Economy
LONDON, March 15, 2022 /PRNewswire-AsiaNet/ --

-  This is the first comprehensive public study analyzing the recycling value 
chain for single-use beverage containers in five key markets. 
-  The data shows that today more than 70% of the material used in aluminium 
cans is recycled into new products – almost double that of glass (34%) and 
plastic (40%). 

Research commissioned by the International Aluminium Institute (IAI) [ ] /into the recycling of three beverage 
container materials – aluminium, glass and plastic (PET) – has shown that 
aluminium cans best support a circular economy. The study [ ] 
shows that compared with aluminium cans, more glass and plastic bottles end up 
in landfills because they are not collected. In addition, the losses in the 
recycling system once collected, is three times higher for PET and glass 
bottles than for the aluminium cans. 

On behalf of the IAI, Eunomia Research and Consulting [ ] studied data 
in five regions: Brazil, China, Europe, Japan and the US. It looked at the 
end-of-life processing losses for aluminium cans, glass bottles and plastic 
(polyethylene terephthalate - PET) bottles. The study also looked at the 
collection, sorting, reprocessing and thermal processing, closed-loop recycling 
and open-loop recycling.  

Ramon Arratia, Vice President Global Public Affairs at Ball Corporation, noted 
that "While no drinks container has achieved its full circularity potential 
yet, aluminium outperforms glass and plastics (PET) at all stages of the waste 
management system. Today, aluminium cans are the most recycled beverage 
containers globally. Once the aluminium can is collected from the consumer, it 
has an unrivalled sorting, reprocessing and remelting efficiency rate of 90% 
compared with glass (67%) and PET (66%). On this basis, aluminium can be 
described as a material of choice for a circular economy. This is especially 
important when we look at the carbon reduction potential of recycling." 

Andrew Wood, Group Executive Strategy & Business Development at Alumina 
Limited, said "The number of aluminium cans collected at the end of their life 
is about 18% higher than PET bottles and 28% higher than glass. A greater 
proportion of PET and one-way glass bottles end up in landfills or waterways 
because they are not collected. In a decarbonising world, this is likely to 
contribute to higher demand for both recycled and primary aluminium." 

The aluminium can was first mass-produced by Coors Brewing Company in the 1950s 
to improve the taste of beer and provide a more sustainable container than 
steel cans. It is therefore reassuring to see from this study that the 
environmental goals of that ground-breaking new product all those years ago are 
still being realised.  

Marlen Bertram, IAI's Director, Scenarios & Forecasts, says, "As the Institute 
celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, we have been reflecting on our 
organisation's long history of data collection, analysis and modelling. 
Aluminium is one of the most recyclable materials on the planet and the IAI is 
campaigning to ensure end-of-life products are returned into the recycling loop 
given the economic and environmental benefits of the metal in our global 
economy. Comparing recycling rates of different materials is meaningless if you 
don't know how the rate is measured and into what products the material is 
recycled back to. This study is the first public study that comprehensively 
analyses the extent of recycling and losses of three beverage containers in 
different regions. By increasing the precision of identifying where major 
losses occur, the study could provide solutions to improving the rate of 
recycling for all materials. We are clearly in a new era in circularity 

Emilio Braghi, EVP Novelis & President Novelis Europe said "Collection and 
sorting systems are essential to increasing circularity and to unlocking the 
full potential of infinitely recyclable materials. We need a policy framework 
that incentivises true recycling and circular systems, where at the end of 
their life, beverage containers are recycled again and again – without loss to 
quality. Aluminium is perfectly suited for multiple product-to-product 
recycling. We need to move our thinking from waste to valuable resource – 
reusing existing material to produce new packaging and thereby saving precious 
natural resources, energy, and lowering emissions."

You can read more about the findings of this study in our information sheet, A 
Circularity Case for Aluminium Compared With Glass and Plastic and visit 

About the IAI 
The International Aluminium Institute (IAI) is the only body representing the 
global primary aluminium industry. The Institute has the most comprehensive 
global data on Aluminium with more than 40 years of analysis on production, 
consumption, energy use and environmental impact. For more information, visit, or connect with us on LinkedIn or Twitter 

About Ball Corporation
Ball Corporation supplies innovative, sustainable aluminum packaging solutions 
for beverage, personal care and household products customers, as well as 
aerospace and other technologies and services. Ball Corporation and its 
subsidiaries employ 24,300 people worldwide and reported 2021 net sales of 
$13.8 billion. For more information, visit, or connect with us on 
Facebook or Twitter.

About Alumina Ltd 
Alumina Ltd is an Australian company which holds a 40% interest in the global 
AWAC joint venture, one of the world's largest bauxite and alumina producers, 
managed and 60% owned by Alcoa Corp. AWAC also has an interest in the Portland 
aluminium smelter and had an EBITDA of $1.146 billion in 2021. For more 
information, visit 

About Novelis
Novelis is the leading producer of flat-rolled aluminum products and the 
world's largest recycler of aluminum. In line with its purpose of shaping a 
sustainable world together, the ambition is to be the world's leading provider 
of low carbon, sustainable aluminum solutions that advance the business, 
industry and society toward the benefits of a circular economy. With 
state-of-the-art can sheet production lines and recycling centers in North 
America, South America, Europe and Asia, Novelis serves the most recognizable 
brands worldwide.

Infographic - 

Source: International Aluminium Institute