About 61m aluminium cans were recycled in the US last year

About 61m aluminium cans were recycled in the US last year

The US is recycling more aluminium cans, with return rates jumping from 58% to 65%, a new study has shown.

About 61m aluminium cans were recycled in 2011, according to research released on Tuesday (28 August) by three industry associations.

But the Aluminum Association, Can Manufacturers Institute and Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries said the recycle rate is still short of their 75% target, which will help businesses save more money. 

"Cans are an obvious green packaging choice because it takes 95% less energy to produce a can from recycled material, resulting in significant energy, emissions and resource savings,” said Aluminum Association chairperson Allison Buchanan.

The rate rise was driven by imports of used beverage cans into the US, the study said. US aluminium manufactures import used cans from other countries because of the high cost of the metal in the US. Imports, which are included in the study's figures, jumped by 25% last year over the year before.

“In the last several years, the steady increase in imports has become a more impactful factor to the overall recycling rate in the United States,” the study said.

Last month, Arcadia Ales announced it was launching its craft beer in aluminium cans partly to save on packaging costs.

To view a PDF breakdown of the study's figures, click here.