Every Can Counts launches recycling initiative in the US

Every Can Counts has established a US chapter to expand its growing global movement to inspire, encourage and empower more people to recycle their aluminium beverage cans.

Every Can Counts US is a partnership between aluminium beverage can manufacturers (Ardagh Metal PackagingCANPACKCrown Holdings and Envases) and aluminium suppliers (ConstelliumKaiser AluminumNovelis and Tri-Arrows Aluminum). These partners are passionate about encouraging people to do the right thing with their empty beverage cans by recycling them.

The new chapter’s vision is to significantly increase the amount of aluminum beverage cans collected and recycled in the United States with a focus on away-from-home beverage can collection. These efforts are part of a multi-pronged strategy to make progress toward the ambitious US aluminium beverage can recycling rate targets set by Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI) aluminium beverage can members. These targets include going from the current 45 percent U.S. aluminium beverage can recycling rate to a 70 percent recycling rate by 2030. 

To kick-start its away-from-home recycling efforts, Every Can Counts US is joining the City of New Orleans and many local organisations in the Recycle Dat initiative to make the 2024 Mardi Gras parades more sustainable. This year’s initiative hopes to surpass the 1,475 pounds of aluminium beverage cans (nearly 150,000 individual cans) recycled during the 2023 parade season from those collected along the parade route and those sold to a local metal recycling facility.

For the 2024 parade season, Recycle Dat is adding more recycling hubs and can-only receptacles along the Uptown Mardi Gras parade route and at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. This will make it easier for parade-goers to recycle their empty aluminium beverage cans, glass bottles and beads. Local volunteers will power Recycle Dat by operating the hubs and engaging revelers on the importance of recycling. Some of these volunteers will be outfitted with special backpacks from Every Can Counts US where parade-goers can directly insert their aluminium beverage cans for recycling.

Every Can Counts US will take all the collected empty aluminium beverage cans to EMR Metal Recycling’s Mid-City location, which regularly buys used beverage cans. Every Can Counts will double the market rate payout up to the first $5,000 and give the proceeds to three local charities – NOLA Cans 4 FoodPontchartrain Conservancy and Zeus’ Rescues.

Besides this collection along the parade route, Every Can Counts US will also encourage New Orleans community members to bring their used aluminium beverage cans to the EMR Metal Recycling Mid-City facility to earn cash. Used beverage cans are consistently one of the most valuable recyclable commodities, and Every Can Counts US is making the financial reward even greater by doubling the market rate payout up to the first $5,000. Community members can either get a personal check for the value of their empty beverage cans plus the doubling or have the money go to the three local charities.

“Supporting Recycle Dat at Mardi Gras is the perfect way to launch Every Can Counts US because it brings can recycling to an event where there are many beverages enjoyed in aluminium cans but essentially no public space for recycling them once they are empty,” said Scott Breen, CMI’s senior vice president of sustainability. “We’re excited to use the innovative engagement tactics from Every Can Counts at a variety of venues to keep aluminium cans out of landfills; instead, the recycled aluminium will generate significant environmental and economic benefits over and over since metal recycles forever.”

While the chapter’s primary focus will be to partner with more organisers and venues to make recycling aluminuim beverage cans easier at festivals and events, it will also leverage social media to educate people about the benefits of recycling and inspire them to make more sustainable choices. To reward followers for recycling, Every Can Counts US will launch an Instagram contest during Mardi Gras with daily giveaways of gift cards to a local New Orleans brewery and a grand prize $200 gift card to a local, sustainable-minded restaurant.

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