Canfacts

  Total Market

Aerosols

Beverage Cans

Metal Closures

Contact Us

  Food Cans

Homecare / DIY

Industrial

Promotional / Giftware

Return to homepage

      Beverage Cans


Tried, tested, trusted

The can is the most recycled drinks pack in the world.

Every can that is collected will be recycled, and can be recycled infinitely, with no loss of quality.

Each can recycled substantially reduces the environmental footprint of the next can.

The beverage can could be back on shelf within 60 days.

Extensive collection and recycling structures exist which are environmentally effective and economically efficient.

The beverage can is a highly efficient & economic package to produce,  fill and distribute.

The can is a lightweight, convenient and unbreakable pack that protects the product perfectly.

Cools quickly for chilled items.

Ideal single-serve container for consumption both in the home and on the go.

Can Facts   Source Date

Storage time / shelf life for unopened beverage can (subject to compatibility tests)

Up to 12 months

BCME

2012

Recycling rates determine carbon emissions 

Recycling rate is the percentage of cans recovered and recycled as a percentage of cans placed on the market in the year.

The can is the most recycled drinks pack in the world.

All cans returned for recycling are recycled.

Steel and aluminium can be recycled again and again without loss of quality.

Each can recycled substantially reduces the environmental footprint of the next can.

75% of all aluminium made is still in use.

Recycling aluminium is 20 times more efficient than primary production.

More recycling means less CO2.

Can Facts   Source Date

UK metal packaging steel can recycling rate including beverage cans 2013

61%

TATA

2014

UK aluminium packaging recycling rate 2016

70%

Alupro

2017

European steel can recycling rate 2015

77.5%

APEAL

2017

Compared to using virgin material every tonne of aluminium recycled saves bauxite

4 tonnes

 

2012

Compared to using virgin materials every tonne of aluminium saves energy

95%

   
Compared to using virgin materials every tonne of aluminium recycled saved greenhouse gas emissions

97%

   
Compared to using virgin materials every tonne of steel recycled saves coking coal

0.5 tonnes

TATA

2012

Compared to using virgin materials every tonne of steel recycled saves energy

70%

TATA

2012

Compared to using virgin materials every tonne of steel recycled saves water

40%

TATA

2012

Compared to using virgin materials every tonne of steel recycled saves greenhouse gas emissions

80%

TATA

2012

Compared to using virgin materials every tonne of steel recycled saves iron ore

1.5 tonnes

TATA

2012

More Recycling of Cans Means Less CO2 

Research undertaken for BCME highlights the contribution that increasing recycling leads to reductions in CO2 use.

The higher the recycling rate the less virgin metal is needed to make new cans, minimising energy use and raw materials.

Currently there is no universal approach for the measurement of a carbon footprint.

The higher the recycling rate the higher the carbon saving. click here for chart

Metal operates in a ‘material to material’ loop – whether the material comes back in exactly the same product is not relevant.  This 'End of Life' approach most accurately reflects the emissions from metal Click here for the Material to Material Loop diagram

When recycled, the carbon (energy) embodied in a can will displace new energy in the steel and aluminium production processes - whether the end use is in the form of a car, bridge or can.

Embodied carbon is the carbon dioxide that is emitted at all stages of a good's manufacturing process, from the mining of raw materials through the distribution process, to the final product.

Life Cycle Assessment is the detailed assessment of the environmental effects of a process, product or service 'from cradle to grave'.  However the boundaries need to be carfully and clearly defined - where you start and finish, what is included, what is excluded, all have a major impact on the findings of an LCA and depend on the resources used for the study.  This can often lead to problems when two apparently similar studies are compared.

The challenge today is to recycle more of the 30% of drinks cans that are consumed outside the home and so do not get recycled through existing schemes.  This is why the Can Makers are supporting "Every Can Counts", a scheme that offers employers the opportunity to set up and promote recycling in the workplace by providing access to a collection service.  The scheme focuses on the collection of both aluminium and steel drinks cans.  Every Can Counts is also supported by the government and WRAP.
www.everycancounts.co.uk

Metal used to make cans is produced from both virgin and recycled materials 

Recycled content for an individual can cannot be determined due to the homogeneous nature of the material (CEN Standards).

In Europe metal is on average produced from 50% recycled material.

Recycled content is the figure for the scrap steel consumed or secondary smelted aluminium as a percentage of total steel or aluminium production. 

Can Facts   Source Date

Steel:recycled material used as a percentage of total production

57%

APEAL

2010

Aluminium:recycled material used as a percentage of total production

50%

EAA

2010

High recycling rate reduces net weight to landfill 

Net weight to landfill is determined by the weight of the pack relative to its recycling rate.

The beverage can is lightweight, efficient and unbreakable.

Extensive collection and recycling structures exist which are environmentally effective and economically efficient.

All packaging is less than 3% of all solid waste and 60% is recovered and recycled. *

Can Facts   Source Date

Over the last two decades the weight of steel cans has reduced by

33%

Empac

2012

Over the last two decades the weight of aluminium cans has reduced by

28%

BCME

2012

Energy saved from using scrap versus virgin raw material - steel

70%

APEAL

2012

Energy saved from using scrap versus virgin raw material - aluminium

95%

EAA

2012

UK Packaging Waste Generated (industrial, commercial & household) - Total

10.8 million tonnes

DEFRA

2009

In the UK in 2008, 467,475 tonnes of metal was recycled, representing 56.9% of metal packaging and exceeding the government target of 50%.

Probably more money invested in metal sustainability than any other packaging material

The metals industry have supported and invested in recycling and processing facilities for decades, working together with local authorities and other groups to get as many used drinks cans back for recycling as possible.

The light weighting of drinks cans has been a priority for can manufacturers over a long time, with reductions over the last twenty years of 33% for steel cans and 28% for aluminium.  Drinks cans also weigh considerably less than comparable bottle used for soft drinks and beer.

Alupro - Plant a Tree Campaign - launched in 2003, the amount of aluminium drinks cans and foil recycled each year has grown by 47 per cent, from 31,831 tonnes in 2003 to 46,719 tonnes in 2006.

Every Can Counts - launched in 2008, recycling drinks cans away from home, at the workplace, college or Uni. www.everycancounts.co.uk

Can Facts   Source Date

UK investment in steel recycling and infrastructure over the past two decades

£300m

TATA

August 2012

UK investment in aluminium recycling and infrastructure over the past two decades

£120m

ALUPRO

August 2012

On-going investment in European operational carbon reduction

€600m

APEAL

August 2012

European research in future carbon reducing techologies

€80m

APEAL

August 2012

Source data

ALUPRO - Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation
Represents the leading aluminium packaging producers and reprocessors in the UK. To ensure that packaging waste recycling targets are met through working with local authorities and other partners, and through public education. Alupro is also the body responsible for working with Government on policy issues. Website:
www.alupro.org.uk

APEAL - Association of European Producers of Steel for Packaging
A federation of multinational producers of steel for packaging in Europe, representing some 90% of the total European production of steel for packaging. Website
www.apeal.org

BCME - Beverage Can Makers Europe
Represents Europe's leading drinks can manufacturers to maximise market opportunities for the beverage can and proactively position and support the positive attributes and image of the can relative to other beverage packaging alternatives through coordinated marketing, environmental, legislative and technical initiatives. Website: www.bcme.org

CFUK - Canned Food UK
An organisation that promotes the benefits of canned food. Its members include companies who produce material for cans and make metal cans, to the distribution and manufacture of canned food products. Website: www.cannedfood.co.uk

DEFRA - The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
A Government Department in the UK which aims to secure a healthy environment in which current and future generations can prosper. Website: www.defra.gov.uk

EA - Environment Agency
An Executive Non Departmental Public Body responsible to the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and an Assembly Sponsored Public Body responsible to the National Assembly for Wales which aims to protect and improve the environment, and to promote sustainable development. Website: www.environment-agency.gov.uk

EAA - European Aluminium Association
The European Aluminium Association represents the aluminium industry in Europe. It aims to secure sustainable growth of the market for aluminium ahilst maintaining & improving the image of the industry. Website: www.eaa.net

EMPAC - European Metal Packaging Association
Represents the metal packaging industry in all the countries of the European Union
Website:
www.empac.eu

MPMA - Metal Packaging Manufacturers Association
Representing UK manufacturers of light gauge metal packaging
Website:
www.mpma.org.uk

TSPR - Tata Steel Packaging Recycling
Tata Steel Packaging Recycling promotes steel packaging recycling to consumers, local authorities and the commercial sector, and offers an established end market for recovered used steel packaging.
Website: www.tatasteel.com
For additional information on steel can recycling see: SCRIB - the Steel Can Recycling Information Bureau
Website: 
www.scrib.org


* Refers to Packaging in Perspective prepared by the Advisory Committee on Packaging. 
Pdf version available
click here

 

contact us                                                                                                                                                       Copyright © 2012 MPMA. All rights reserved


Web site created and maintained using   link to web4work