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The Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI) has launched an education and marketing campaign to highlight the benefits of recycling steel and aluminum cans. Introduced at Pack Expo 2011 late last month, “Pass It On” showcases the can industry’s commitment to sustainability, along with the breadth and scope of recycling efforts. In addition to print and interactive online ads, the campaign offers a recycling facts quiz.
“The ‘Pass It On’ campaign is designed to inform consumers that metal cans can be recycled again and again, forever, without loss of strength or quality,” explained Robert Budway, president of Washington-based CMI, the national trade association of the metal can manufacturing industry and its suppliers in the United States. “Can recycling minimizes energy use [and] CO2 emissions, and decreases the need for virgin material.”
The U.S. recycling rate for aluminum beverage cans hit 58 percent last year -- the highest rate in more than a decade and double that of any other beverage container. Steel food cans had a recycling rate of 66.8 percent in 2010, an all-time record.
Recycled material in aluminum beverage cans results in 95 percent less energy and produces 95 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than creating cans from virgin materials, according to CMI, which adds that steel recycling saves enough energy annually to electrically power nearly 18 million households. What’s more, can recycling is quick and efficient, returning cans to store shelves in as little as 60 days, the trade group says.
CMI’s booth at Pack Expo featured interactive displays as well as opportunities for manufacturers to learn more about strategic packaging choices with steel and aluminum cans.
CMI members account for the annual domestic production of 130 billion food, beverage and general-line metal cans. Together, they employ about 35,000 workers and operate almost 150 plants in 36 states.