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aluminium sorting for recycling

Proper recycling is the key for can’s success

January 15, 2020

In 2005, when Germany introduced a deposit system, about 200 million aluminium cans made it into shoppers’ baskets. In 2018, some 3.5 billion were sold there – and an astonishing 99% of them were recycled.

Recycling is one of the top actions we can take to be more sustainable. When Europe’s largest market sees such an increase in recycling aluminium cans, it makes a big difference.

“The advance of the can is in no small part due to the environmental credentials of aluminium,” says Boris Kasper, Head of Cans with Hydro Rolled Products. “Now that cans consist almost exclusively of this one metal, their ecological impact has radically improved.

“Aluminium cans retain their value, and collection systems have helped to raise recycling rates to around 99% in Germany, for example.”

The deposit in Germany is about EUR 0.25 – per can.

aluminium can being deposited for recycling

Special systems such as Hydro’s UBC (used beverage can) recycling line in Neuss, Germany, turn post-consumer cans into new ones. Aluminium can be melted down using relatively little energy and without compromising quality, for reuse in new containers. Aluminium has replaced other materials in this segment.

In addition to the recycling advantages, cans make a stylish statement with craft beers or energy drinks. They are also easy to print on at high speeds.

In many countries, cans are valued for their hygiene, as the design ensures considerably better product safety. Cans take up less space and are lighter than other containers, so transporting them takes fewer trucks and saves fuel, which also helps to protect the climate.

As society becomes more aware of waste, once again the benefits of aluminium win out.

Learn more about our cans.

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