Infinitum to recycle Norway’s beverage cans


Recycling organisation Infinitum has signed an agreement with the world’s largest aluminium recycler to recycle Norway’s used beverage cans.

Beginning May 2021, Novelis Inc. the world leader in aluminium rolling and recycling will transform Norway’s empty beer and soft drinks cans into aluminium sheet for new beverage containers. Globally, Novelis recycles 74 billion cans a year in a closed-loop system, where used cans are recycled into new ones. Norway’s cans will be given a new lease of life in the UK and Germany. 

“Until now, our cans have been recycled along with other scrap aluminium. With Novelis, the cans will be kept separate, so that recycling becomes even more efficient and all the used cans come back as new cans,” explains Kjell Olav Maldum, CEO of Infinitum, the company that manages Norway’s refundable deposit scheme for beverage bottles and cans. 

Currently, almost all Norwegian beverage cans are recycled. Last year, 93 per cent were returned through the refundable deposit scheme, while the rest were collected through the municipal waste management system. Under the new arrangement, the cans returned through the refundable deposit scheme will be sent to Novelis. Because the refundable deposit scheme collects and sorts cans made of high-quality aluminium, Infinitum supplies a completely pure material for recycling. 

“Infinitum has been a critical part of Norway’s recycling infrastructure and the success they have achieved increasing the amount of recycled used beverage cans is a model for sustainable living. We are proud to partner with Infinitum to bring 100 per cent of their aluminium back into the production cycle, resulting in a truly a circular solution” said Alexandre Gellert, Director Metal Procurement Novelis Europe. 

Aluminium beverage cans are the model of sustainable packaging because they are infinitely recyclable. With an average “can-to-can” lifecycle of just a couple of months, a can that is recycled today can be back on store shelves in just sixty days. Making can sheet from recycled material is better for our environment, better for our customers and better for our business. 

“We are constantly looking for opportunities to improve the system, and are delighted to have brought the world’s leading can recycler on board,” says Infinitum’s CEO Kjell Olav Maldum. 

Last year, Infinitum sent over 11,000 tonnes of aluminium from over 800 million cans for recycling.

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