US can makers take part in recycling campaign

More than three million aluminium beverage cans were collected and recycled by can making companies taking part in the Great American Can Roundup.

Organised by the Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI), the campaign encourages can makers to partner with local organisations to recycle cans and invest the money raised back into local communities. This year the campaign raised almost $75,000.

It involved 68 facilities, including plants and corporate offices of three major American can manufacturers – Rexam, Ball, and Crown Holdings.

The Rexam manufacturing plant in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, won first place in the annual industry competition, with 614,261 cans collected and recycled. Second and third place went to two Ball Corporation plants in the Midwest – Findlay, Ohio took second, and Monticello, Indiana, finished third. Findlay and Monticello collected approximately 723,360 cans, and 249,249 cans, respectively. Winners are selected from the highest per-capita collection rates based on the number of pounds of aluminum collected per plant employee.

“We are proud to join our industry in setting a positive example in our local communities, showing that the aluminium beverage can is indeed the answer for sustainability and environmental superiority, says Andre Balbi, president and CEO, Rexam Beverage Can Americas.

Michael Hranicka, president of Ball’s metal beverage packaging division, Americas, added: “Recycling aluminium beverage cans saves energy, reduces the need for new materials and accounts for most of the value in the packaging recycling chain.”

Proceeds from the campaign will benefit Food for All, Habitat for Humanity, the American Red Cross, Boys and Girls Clubs, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Toys for Tots and other charities throughout the US.

“Our contest provides an opportunity for can manufacturers and their employees to give something back – not only to the environment, but to their local communities, says Robert Budway, president of CMI. “Our industry is proud of its efforts to optimise aluminium beverage can recycling while re-energising the recycling ethic among consumers. We are even prouder of our efforts to reach out and help individuals that are really struggling in this tough economy.”

Originally launched in 2003 as the America Recycles Day Challenge, the contest’s goal was to raise awareness of recycling and give back to local communities. In the last eight years, the contest has recycled more than 293 million cans.

The Can Manufacturers Institute is the national trade association of the metal can manufacturing industry and its suppliers in the US.

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