New aerosol recycling initiative

The Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI) and the Household & Commercial Products Association (HCPA) launched an Aerosol Recycling Initiative with the support of almost 20 companies across the aerosol value chain to increase access to aerosol recycling and on-pack recyclability messaging. 

The initiative’s two quantitative, time-bound goals are to achieve by 2030 at least an 85 percent recycling access rate for all aerosol cans and label at least 90% of aerosols as recyclable with messaging about how to properly recycle them. 

“Aerosol cans continue to deliver on the recyclable packaging that consumers are increasingly demanding, but not enough US households have access to a recycling program that accepts these products,” said Nicholas Georges, HCPA’s senior vice president of scientific & international affairs. “The aerosol industry is collaborating with each other, allied trade associations, and external partners to conduct a variety of activities that will result in more households having the ability to recycle their aerosol cans more conveniently.” 

CMI and HCPA are employing a dynamic expert team that provides a varied skill set to execute the initiative’s first year activities. One member of the expert team is Gershman, Brickner & Bratton, which has a deep understanding of Material Recovery Facility (MRF) operations. MRFs do the important job of sorting single-stream recyclables. Another team member, Eunomia Research & Consulting, is a data-driven consultancy specializing in achieving better environmental outcomes. Jensen Hughes is also involved to provide technical safety expertise with its staff of engineers and scientists. 

“The aerosol industry has proactively joined together with a team of experts to ensure the infinitely recyclable aluminum and steel in aerosol cans remains in use,” said Scott Breen, CMI’s vice president of sustainability. “This will significantly reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills and further help society reach a more circular economy.” 

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