A new analysis by Resource Recycling Systems (RRS) has found that aluminium beverage cans are the most recycled drinks packaging in the world, ahead of PET and glass containers.

Commissioned by the Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI), Beverage Can Makers Europe (BCME) and Abralatas in Brazil, the study analysed global recycling data to find the recyclability rates for aluminium, PET and glass beverage containers.

It established a global weighted average recycling rate of 69% for aluminium, 43% for PET containers and 46% for glass packages.

“RRS determined that aluminium beverage containers remain the most recycled container globally.”

RRS vice-president Anne Johnson said: “Data on beverage container recycling rates for 25 countries, representing 80% of the global market, were reviewed and validated by the RRS Data Analytics Team.

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“Even with factoring in the data reliability for each container type by comparing high and low error ranges, RRS determined that aluminium beverage containers remain the most recycled container globally.

“A key finding of the RRS data review is that much could be done to improve the reporting of recycling data in most markets, through more harmonised definitions of recycling and reporting methods.”

The study primarily procured information from the markets with accessible recycling data, and then validated the data for 82% of the aluminium can global market, representing 21 countries.

For PET and glass bottles, the data was verified and validated for 79% of the global market representing 23 and 22 countries respectively.

It also found that aluminium recycling rates are 98% in Brazil, 77% in Japan, 72% in Italy and 55% in the US.

Photo: Compressed aluminium cans for recycling. Image: courtesy of Friman via Wikipedia.