Misconceptions of metal recycling

When I first started writing about the metal packaging industry I never quite realised how much there was to it.

Can makers, suppliers, shaping, embossing and metal decorating are just some of the things I write about on a regular basis. But there is one thing that makes cans stand out above other packaging types – they are infinitely recyclable.

But there are still some common misconceptions surrounding the recyclability of metal. A spokesman for metalmatters, which is a partnership between the UK drink can manufacturers, the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP), and the aluminium and steel packaging and recycling industries, says a lack of understanding over exactly what is recyclable is one of the main problems.

The drink can industry is proactively working to educate consumers on recycling of household waste and metalmatters has been working hard to give the householder a greater understanding of the value and benefits of recycling metals.

After carrying out extensive consumer research metalmatters found that most people just want reassurance that their recycling efforts are not going to waste – in every sense of the word.

“We were amazed to find out that the strongest thing people were seeking was reassurance,” says the spokesman for metalmatters. “All metal is recyclable.”

While the majority of people know that food and beverage cans are recyclable some are unaware that things like aerosols, fish cans, bottle closures and foil can also be recycled.

“There are an awful lot of applications where aluminium is used. People don’t realise that they are using it. People find it surprising that they can be recycled into any metal product,” added the spokesman.

One of the best things about metals is that you can go on using them again and again, simply by melting them down and making new things from them. So the next time you go to throw away an empty aerosol or bottle top take a second to remember that it can be used again.

This blog can also be seen at http://cannedcomment.wordpress.com/ – the blog for the BCME (Beverage Can Makers Europe), which is a non-profit-making trade body that represents Europe’s leading drinks can manufacturers.

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