On a mission to increase beverage can recycling rates

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This week, Crown released news of how it is striving to increase global beverage can recycling rates with ambitious new goals: 2030 targets include reaching 70% in the US and 80% in EMEA, in addition to maintaining over 90% in Mexico and 97% in Brazil.

The statement went on to say that with its Twentyby30 programme objectives to improve the circular economy, Crown Holdings has announced its commitment to work with industry partners to achieve ambitious new global recycling rates goals for aluminium beverage cans. Designed to be completed by 2030, the targets focus on the inherent recyclability of metal to advance Crown’s sustainability efforts and commitments to foster a more responsible industry.

The new targets are connected to individual regions where Crown maintains operations and include:

In the Americas:

United States: Lifting the current 45% average to achieve ambitious milestones of 70% by 2030, 80% by 2040 and 90% by 2050.

Mexico: Maintaining >90% through 2030 and working with industry partners to establish country-wide recycling rates.

Brazil: Maintaining >97% through 2030.

In Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA): Reaching 80% in the countries in which we operate by working with industry partners.

In Asia Pacific: Establishing country-wide 2030 recycling rates in the three major markets in which we operate (Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam) by the end of 2025.

Today, aluminium cans stand as the only beverage packaging format capable of a 60-day turnaround from point of consumption to appearing back on the shelf. Metal is also an infinitely recyclable, permanent material that never loses its properties, helping to minimize resource consumption and waste.

To raise recycling rates for aluminium cans, Crown will work in tandem with industry partners to help support improvements to public and private recycling access, encourage consumer education on the importance of recycling used beverage cans (UBCs), help fund can capture technologies to improve recycling centre sorting processes and support impactful recycling policies. To date, Crown has already made significant strides in these areas, including helping to fund five grants awarded to facilities in the United States – a contribution that will result in an additional 71 million UBCs being recycled annually.

“The beverage can already stands strong as the most recycled drinks package in the world,” said John Rost, PhD, vice president, Global Sustainability and Regulatory Affairs at Crown. “Still, there is more work to be done to enable us to capture and reuse as much aluminium as possible. Our efforts will help ensure even more UBCs, which are the most valuable commodity in the recycling system, will be recovered successfully and kept from landfill.”

While set and spearheaded by Crown, the new recycling targets will require widespread action and support, including meaningful contributions from consumers, manufacturers, industry associations and advocacy groups and beverage brands. CPGs, in particular, will help create greater traction with the public’s recycling practices, due to their close connections and interactions with consumers around the world.

“Coca-Cola’s history with the beverage can stretches back decades, with our portfolio expanding to include the format more than 60 years ago,” said Ben Jordan, senior director sustainability at Coca-Cola. “Today, metal’s attributes continue to help protect the classic image, flavours and experience consumers expect when they reach for a Coke. We welcome today’s announcement and are proud to support Crown’s ambitious new recycling rate goals, which can help to promote effective recycling and a more responsible supply chain. This initiative aligns with our World Without Waste strategy – an ambitious, sustainable packaging initiative that is creating systemic change by driving toward a more circular economy for our cans and bottles, core to which is increasing recycling rates and recycled content while ensuring 100% of our packaging is recyclable.”

Crown says that as it collaborates with its partners around the world to reach the new goals, it will report on progress through its annual sustainability reports and corporate website.

To learn more about Crown’s efforts around recycling and its larger Twentyby30 programme, visit: crowncork.com/sustainability.

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