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European Can Recycling Programme Expands to the United States

Every Can Counts, the leading awareness programme for drink can recycling, has announced the launch of its United States chapter, a significant addition that follows closely after its expansion into the United Arab Emirates during COP28 in Dubai. This new chapter enhances Every Can Counts' position as the leading global initiative dedicated to raising awareness about the recycling of aluminium drink cans. With now 21 chapters worldwide, the programme's shared mission is to inspire and empower people to recycle aluminium drink cans, especially when they are on the go and away from home.

European Can Recycling Programme Expands to the United States

Image Credit: Every Can Counts

Every Can Counts U.S. is a partnership between aluminium drink can manufacturers (Ardagh Metal Packaging, CANPACK, Crown Holdings and Envases) and aluminium suppliers (Constellium, Kaiser Aluminum, Novelis and Tri-Arrows Aluminum). These partners are passionate about encouraging people to do the right thing with their empty drink cans by recycling them.

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

Debuting with a Mardi Gras Recycling Initiative in New Orleans

To kick-start its away-from-home recycling efforts, Every Can Counts U.S. 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 drink 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.

The initiative supports local efforts to increase the amount of recycled cans by adding Recycling Hubs and Can-Only Receptacles for the 2024 Mardi Gras parade season.  Moreover, volunteers will be equipped with the Every Can Counts recycling backpacks, where parade-goers can directly insert their drink cans for recycling. Every Can Counts U.S. will take all the collected empty drink cans to a central recycling facility that regularly purchases used drink cans while doubling the market rate payout up to the first $5,000 and giving the proceeds to three local charities.

Besides this collection along the parade route, Every Can Counts U.S. will encourage New Orleans community members to bring their used aluminium drink cans to the recycling facility to earn cash. Community members can either get a personal check for the value of their empty drink cans plus the doubling or have the money go to the three local charities. "We're excited to use the innovative engagement tactics from Every Can Counts at a variety of venues to keep drink cans out of landfills; instead, the recycled drink will generate significant environmental and economic benefits over and over since METAL RECYCLES FOREVER." said Scott Breen, CMI's Senior Vice President of Sustainability.

"I am delighted that Every Can Counts has just been launched in the U.S.A. thanks to a new partnership between the aluminium industry and local drink can producers. Our vision of empowering people to recycle their drink cans wherever they consume them can now spread to a new region. We are fully committed and ready to make a positive change in the U.S.A." said David Van Heuverswyn, Director of Every Can Counts Global. 

While the chapter's primary focus will be to partner with more organisers and venues to make recycling aluminium drink 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 U.S. 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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