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To save recycling, look to the aluminum can

Tom Dobbins and Robert Budway write on The Hill how aluminum cans can save our recycling system.

The C3 Take
  • Last year $810 million worth of aluminum cans was sent to landfills instead of being recycled.
  • States must improve recycling infrastructure and add their own deposit systems for aluminum cans in order to incentivize recycling.
  • If every aluminum can in the United States was recycled, we could prevent up to 5 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

“The inherent value of aluminum is the engine that makes our recycling system go. According to the Recycling Partnership’s 2020 State of Curbside report, aluminum packaging represents only 3 percent of the weight but nearly half of the economic value of recyclable material generated by all single-family homes. And, since we use aluminum scrap to make new cans, we don’t need to rely on foreign markets to sell the recycled material — the market exists right here at home. By capturing all of the value from used aluminum cans, we can revitalize American recycling. The aluminum can industry is ready to do just that — but we have our work cut out for us.”

Read the full article here.

The views and opinions expressed are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of C3.

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