A nationwide study in the US has shown the benefit of increasing the country’s aluminium can recycling rate.
Titled ‘Recycling Aluminum Cans Is Good Business’, the study was conducted by aluminium can producer Ball and consulting firm Resource Recycling Systems (RRS).
It found that raising the aluminium can recycling rate to 90% from the current level of 38% could result in both economic and environmental benefits.
According to the study, this would generate $6.6bn for the US economy and $1.6bn in economic activity through material sales.
In addition, the move would divert 1.3Mtpa of materials from landfills and increase the country’s total waste collection and recycling industry wages from $2.1bn to $5bn.
The data revealed that the increased recycling rate would save enough energy to power 1.5 million US homes for a year.
It would also create 103,800 jobs in collection, sorting and reprocessing areas across the country.
Ball chairman John Hayes said: “There is no question the market for more recycled aluminium is there, and so is the potential for huge energy savings and job creation.
“That’s why we’re advocating for smart recycling policies at the state and federal level that can help the US reduce our dependence on imported materials, strengthen our domestic supply chain and make these benefits a reality.”
For the study, Ball and RRS studied data from last year sourced from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Aluminum Association and Ball.
The study also made use of researched factsheets and data for all 50 US states, as well as a national snapshot.
Aluminium is said to be one of the most sustainable beverage packaging materials, using 92% less energy than virgin material.
Earlier this month, Ball started building the UK’s ‘largest-ever’ beverage packaging plant at the SEGRO Park Kettering Gateway in Kettering.