Ball is partnering with Recycle Aerosol to increase the recycling rates of aluminium aerosol cans in the US.
Ball said it is committed to building strategic partnerships that can help the industry move toward a world where materials can be used over and over again.
Predrag Ozmo, sustainability manager, Ball Corporation, said: “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.”
Each year in the US, a small portion of filled aerosol cans are deemed unsaleable and are never used by consumers, for a variety of reasons.
Gary Okey, executive vice-president, Recycle Aerosol, said: “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experience recycling unsaleable filled aerosol bottles and cans that include damaged packaging, manufacturing rejects, out of date contents or changed marketing campaigns which may not otherwise be recycled. 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, it also creates a closed-loop process where used cans are recycled into new aerosol cans, according to Ball who said it is very 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 added: “Aluminium is a prime example of true material circularity – 75 percent of all aluminium ever produced is still in use today and it can be recycled infinitely, without loss of quality. It is also one of the most valuable materials on the market, so no additional incentives are needed to recycle it. Due to its superior properties, much of aluminium is ‘trapped’ in long lasting products like airplanes, buildings and window frames, and as a result only about one third of global demand for aluminium can be satisfied from recycled sources. That is why keeping valuable materials like aluminium in the material loop and having it recycled over and over again is one of the foundations of the circular and low-carbon economy and why we at Ball are determined to improve collection and recycling of aluminium aerosol cans worldwide.”
Once the used aerosol cans have been emptied, they are re-melted and the remelted secondary ingots (RSI) are then shipped to Ball, where they will be used to make new, “infinitely recyclable” aerosol cans.