Ball Corporation has partnered with Recycle Aerosol to increase the recycling rates of aluminium aerosol cans in the US.
In line with the global transition to a truly circular economy, Ball said it is committed to building strategic partnerships that can help the industry progress towards a world where materials can be used repeatedly.
Every year in the US, a small portion of filled aerosol cans are deemed unsaleable and are never used by consumers, for various reasons.
“Recycle Aerosol has four decades of experience recycling unsaleable filled aerosol bottles and cans that include damaged packaging, manufacturing rejects, out of date contents or changed marketing campaigns which may not otherwise be recycled,” said Gary Okey, executive vice-president of Recycle Aerosol.
“As our core business, Recycle Aerosol has developed and honed its engineered process to collect the fluids and gases from the unused aerosol and provide these valuable separated ingredients to new end-users.”
Not only does the partnership increase the recycling of aerosol cans, but it also creates a closed-loop process where used cans are recycled into new aerosol cans. It is energy and carbon-efficient to produce aluminium products from recycled aluminium. The alloys used for producing aluminium aerosols are of high purity, so when sourced specifically from recycled aluminium aerosol bottles and cans, there are efficiency gains that also reduce the need for virgin aluminium.
Predrag Ozmo, sustainability manager at Ball, commented: “Beverage cans are really setting the benchmark for aluminium packaging recycling and at Ball we are working towards those same high standards for aerosol cans.
“There are several reasons why aerosol cans still have some ground to make up, including a lack of consumer education around proper disposal and recyclability of aerosol cans in general.
“At Ball, we recognise the existing issues in the end-of-life management of aluminium aerosol cans. We are committed to significantly improving recycling rates worldwide, working together with the industry, our value chain partners and brand owners. We are confident that by joint efforts and dedicated work, we can make aluminium aerosol cans as recyclable as beverage cans and keep the precious metal they are built from in the infinite material loop.”
Once the aerosol cans have been emptied, they are re-melted and the re-melted secondary ingots are then shipped to Ball, where they will be used to make new, infinitely recyclable aerosol cans.