By Paul Ploumis 17 Jun 2015 Last updated at 04:14:13 GMT
SPOKANE (Scrap Monster): The latest report released by the Aluminum Association in partnership with Can Manufacturers Institute for the year 2014 indicates that consumer recycling rate during the year touched 56.7%- the highest recorded rate since 1997. The report notes that cans are being recycled at the highest rates due to the high value of aluminum compared to other packaging materials.
According to the report, the aluminum industry recycling rate remained essentially flat at 66.5% in 2014. The rate represents amount of used aluminum can scrap, including imported and exported cans that get recycled as a percentage of U.S. shipments.
The consumer recycling rate for aluminum cans was up nearly 2 points to 56.7% during 2014, when compared with the rate of 54.9% in 2013. The recycling rate is the highest over the past 17 years. The consumer recycling rate has made significant improvement of over 12% points over the past decade.
Approximately 59.3 billion cans were recycled during the year. On the other hand, 37.6 billion cans went to landfills in 2014. The report highlights scope for further improvement in recycling rates as the landfilled cans lead to negative environmental impacts and loss to economy in the form of lost job opportunities.
Also, aluminum cans were found to contain more than three times the recycled content of glass or plastic. The 2014 survey shows that aluminum cans have 70% average recycled content. This is when compared with the EPA estimates of 23% recycled content in glass and 3% for plastic bottles. The study also indicates that aluminum can scrap is worth $1,491 per ton, significantly higher when compared to $385 per ton for plastic and $0 per ton for glass. Additionally, aluminum cans have reduced their weight by 38% over the past four decades to 12.99 grams on average in 2014.