Consumers unaware of recyclability of cans
A survey of 2,000 UK adults commissioned by The Can Makers has revealed that once the UK public are aware of the recyclability of aluminium drinks cans, they are far more likely to make different choices when it comes to their choices of drinks packaging.
Aluminium, like all metals is a permanent material, which means it can be recycled forever without any loss of quality. However, consumers are unaware of this fact, with over 30% believing that aluminium drinks cans cannot be recycled more than nine times. A further 32% are unaware how many times an aluminium can is able to be recycled. Only 12% of younger consumers, between the ages of 16 and 34 correctly know aluminium cans can be recycled infinitely.
When given the correct information that aluminium cans are infinitely recyclable, half of consumers (49%) would be more likely to choose an aluminium drinks can over a plastic bottle, whilst a quarter (27%) would be more likely to choose a drinks can over a glass bottle.
Commenting on the results, Margaret Bates, Professor of Sustainable Wastes Management at Northampton University, said: “The results just go to show how much confusion is out there, even with aluminium cans where recycling is so well established and the environmental benefits so clear. People want to make the right decisions and with the right information they can really take recycling into their own hands”.
Marcel Arsand, chairman of the Can Makers, said: “Not only are aluminium cans infinitely recyclable, it only takes 60 days for a used can to be back on the shelves. There is also robust recycling infrastructure already in place to easily recycle cans. These results clearly show how important it is that the UK public is made more aware of the recyclability of aluminium cans and the positive impact this will have on moving to a sustainable circular economy for drinks packaging in the UK.”