Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI) beverage can manufacturer and aluminum can sheet producer members are committing to achieving ambitious U.S. recycling rate targets including a 70% recycling rate by 2030. These new targets will improve the circularity of aluminum beverage cans while demonstrating to beverage companies and consumers the industry’s dedication to ensuring the aluminum beverage can remains the most sustainable package on the market.
The targets are being set through CMI, which represents U.S. metal can manufacturers and their suppliers. The aluminum beverage can recycling rate was 45% in 2020, and the industry aims to attain even higher recycling rates beyond 2030 with an 80% rate by 2040 and more than 90% by 2050.
CMI members are committed to more aluminum beverage cans completing the circular journey into new cans. There are nearly 90,000 aluminum beverage cans recycled every minute in the United States, with 93% going from the recycling bin back to the store shelf as a new can in as little as 60 days. This high level of can-to-can recycling has resulted in the aluminum beverage can having an industry-leading average recycled content of 73%.
Increasing the recycled content of the average can reduces its carbon footprint since making an aluminum beverage can from recycled material results in more than 90% less greenhouse gas emissions than making the container from primary material. Continued high demand for aluminum beverage cans necessitates the industry’s vision for increasing recycling of used beverage cans (UBC). Increased UBC recycling would enhance the resiliency of the domestic aluminum supply chain that is incorporated into new cans.
Aluminum beverage cans are only 3% by weight of all the recyclables at single-family U.S. homes, but they represent nearly half of the revenue of those recyclables.
CMI members supporting the targets are aluminum beverage can manufacturers Ardagh Metal Packaging, Canpack, Crown Holdings and Envases; and aluminum can sheet suppliers Constellium, Kaiser Aluminum, Novelis and Tri-Arrows Aluminum.